Skip to main content
This website uses a variety of cookies, which you consent to if you continue to use this site. You can read our Privacy Policy for details about how these cookies are used, and to grant or withdraw your consent for certain types of cookies.

Hwy 53 Complete Streets Reconstruction

International Falls, MN
Project Overview

This was a major reconstruction project along a three-mile corridor of Highway 53 through the City of International Falls. A Complete Streets approach with ADA-compliant design improved accessibility for the local community and those who use it as a gateway passage into Canada.

The project began with a corridor visioning effort that included a visual quality engagement process using concept designs to engage the public and stakeholders on the corridor’s future needs. Consensus was achieved by working with representatives from the city, county, local businesses, Voyageurs National Park, and MnDOT. This 15-month public engagement effort resulted in a MnDOT staff-approved layout and excitement from local stakeholders eager to see their vision for the corridor come to fruition.

Our Work

With this project located in a town center, the development of a new roadway profile presented challenges due to the confined space and numerous access points. ADA-compliant design was a priority throughout the corridor, including the development of a shared-use path and modifications for Accessible Pedestrian Signals at three intersections.

Isthmus led the ADA pedestrian ramp design, signing and pavement marking, roadway corridor modeling, and quality management. An iterative “outside-in” design process was used to minimize impacts to adjacent properties and businesses and to optimize the available space. ADA-compliant curb bump-outs were used to decrease crossing distances and enhance safety. Our team’s 3D design capabilities and deep understanding of ADA requirements benefited this project as it required significant profile changes and narrowing.

As part of a separate Isthmus in-house initiative, Civil Cells which incorporate MnDOT ADA standards were developed to support the ADA design process within a 3D environment. This enhanced workflow was implemented for the first time and allowed for efficient, iterative design by eliminating the need to rework complex ADA design calculations with each profile change. Our team has since shared this workflow and provided training in the use of the Isthmus-developed Civil Cells to MnDOT employees.

Featured Team Members

Michelle Gerrity
Role: ADA Design Lead

Jason Tschida
Role: 3D & Corridor Modeling Lead

Amber Nord
Role: Signing & Pavement Marking Lead

Amy DeBruin
Role: Quality Management Lead

Featured Services
  • Roadway Design
  • ADA Design
  • Modeling & Visualization
  • Signing & Pavement Marking
  • Quality Management
Project Details

Owner: MnDOT District 1

Location: International Falls, MN

Project Number: SP 3608-48