Although less than one-half mile long, the segment of Otter Lake Road (CSAH 60) between CSAH 96 and 4th Street in the City of White Bear Lake faces many challenges. These include outdated rural design, pavement distress, drainage issues, relatively high average daily traffic (ADT) volumes of 8,400 ADT, challenging sightlines at the intersection of Otter Lake Road and 4th Street, and proximity to Birch Lake, a popular recreational destination that results in significant pedestrian and bicyclist traffic. In addition, random on-street parking and numerous private driveways along this stretch further complicates traffic flow and safety. These safety concerns are heightened due to the proximity of Birch Lake Elementary School, which generates more pedestrian traffic and vehicular movement during student pick-up and drop-off.
Ramsey County partnered with SEH to identify and develop a transportation solution to reconstruct this segment of Otter Lake Road as a multimodal corridor. The main goals are to improve safety, incorporate a multi-use trail, address stormwater drainage, determine repairs for pavement distress, incorporate parking considerations, and position the County for construction in 2024. Once complete, this rehabilitated corridor will provide significant quality-of-life benefits for local residents, pedestrians, bicyclists, commuters, and the Birch Lake Elementary community.
SEH partnered with NEOO Partners, Inc. to develop a community engagement plan to keep the public and stakeholders connected. Throughout the process, the team provided multiple opportunities for the public to learn about the project and provide meaningful feedback. This included hosting in-person and virtual open houses that focused on residents' input for needed improvements while keeping them informed of project plans. The team also shared informational social media posts about the project, made door hangers to notify residents of upcoming meetings, and provided comment cards for residents to share their input.
During the initial design stage, the SEH team worked with various stakeholders, including the County, City, Township, and local watershed organizations, to consider design options and determine the best solution.
Based on stakeholder input, the roadway will be narrowed to 11-foot travel lanes on each side to prioritize safety and reduce vehicle speeds. In addition, a 10-foot bituminous multi-use trail with a curb will be installed within the existing right-of-way to further enhance pedestrian safety. To address drainage issues, stormwater will be channeled to existing stormwater management facilities that will seamlessly integrate with the project area and reduce future maintenance requirements for the County.
Planning and design began in 2022 and will continue through 2023, with construction set to take place in 2024.
Otter Lake Road
Ramsey County, Minnesota
- Environmental site assessment
- Stakeholder and agency coordination
- Transportation engineering
- Traffic engineering
- Community engagement
- Utility coordination
- Construction administration
- Addition of stormwater drainage ditch
- Multi-use trail construction
- Replacing damaged pavement
- Pothole cleanup
- Narrowing of travel lanes to reduce vehicle speed