- Grand Boulevard/Grand Center Streetscaping
Our team completed the reconstruction of the famous Grand Center Art District in Midtown St. Louis. The historic district had suffered from years of neglect, with cracked sidewalks, substandard Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) curb ramps, and poor signage. The project provided beautification for a 1-mile stretch of Grand Boulevard in an area that includes renowned cultural attractions such as the Fox Theater and Powell Symphony Hall, drawing more than a million visitors each year.
Due to heavy foot traffic in the area, the city placed a high priority on upgrading all sidewalks and curb ramps to meet ADA standards and installing push buttons on existing signal posts to provide safer passage for pedestrians. Improved signage was added to Grand Boulevard to help direct people, promote the area and distinguish its boundaries. Other project features included restriping of the roadway and crosswalks, landscaping, and replacement of the concrete sidewalks with a custom concrete cast in place joint pattern that was chosen using mock-ups with the project stakeholders.
During construction, the team discovered a basement vault lid that required complete replacement instead of rehabilitation. The vault was immediately in front of the Fox Theatre and had to be replaced to provide ADA compliance. Because the vault lid was adjacent to Grand Boulevard, a highly utilized arterial roadway, the project team completed a lid that supported AASHTO load ratings. The lid design used current structural codes and was completed within a 48-hour window for the city to implement in the field.
We finished the design project under budget and within a strict 60-day time period to allow the use of federal funding requiring a shovel ready project.
- Sidewalk design
- Traffic signal design
- ADA curb ramp design
- Drainage design
- Stakeholder involvement
- Streetscape visualization
Sustainability Achievements and Challenges
- Waste management options were used where feasible along the Grand Corridor. Existing sidewalk concrete was reused as base material.
- The stakeholder group is composed of the business and property owners in the district, a group of more than 50 individuals. Our team presented concepts and made recommendations that were implemented to preserve funding given the extreme schedule challenges of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding.
- Recycled steel was used for trash receptacles, newspaper racks and traffic signal components.
- Reclaimed copper was used for the traffic signal wiring.
- Team negotiated a construction schedule that would only impede venues such as Fox Theatre and Symphony during two-week breaks in the locations schedules. Specifications were carefully prepared to enforce these periods.
- Basement vaults under the sidewalks were identified and streetscape designs were completed to avoid impact to the spaces underneath the sidewalk zone.