The Innovate Mound project is not just about building a road without cracks and potholes – the entire design seeks to ease traffic in the area, while creating a more enjoyable and safe driving experience as well.
“When you get to drive on the new Mound Road, you will instantly see the difference,” said Regine Beauboeuf, project manager and senior vice president of HNTB.
Stop less, drive more
First, all of the traffic signals will be modernized and synchronized to make a smoother drive along the corridor. “When you are driving the right speed limit, you will not be stopped at every major intersection,” Beauboeuf said. “That will help decrease congestion and that will also help to increase safety.”
Another benefit of this feature is that it is good for the environment. The fewer times a car stops and starts on a road, the less gas it uses.
Merge on, merge off
Another design aspect of this project was to examine all the crossovers and figure out which ones worked, and which ones didn’t. “Some crossovers and medians as you have them now are no longer as effective as they used to be because lane use has changed all along the corridor,” Beauboeuf said.
The project readjusted these medians and crossovers to align with where they will be needed most. And to create safer turning locations.
Another step in improving the art of entering and exiting Mound Road is paying attention to driveways around the corridor.
Designers are looking at some of these options to help:
- Driveway consolidation
- More distance between driveways and crossovers
- Making sure driveways meet current standards (width)
- Restricting movement in certain directions from driveways
More information on the Access Management portion of Innovate Mound can be found here.
Time for a facelift
“Not only is it going to be easier and safer to drive, but you will also notice that it is a lot more pleasant looking than what you see today,” Beauboeuf said.
Some of the improvements will include updating the landscaping so it will be unified throughout the corridors. Even the light fixtures will get an upgrade, so that it is the same throughout. “Right now we have lighting on the median and in some areas we have it on the sidewalks. Now we will have all the lighting in the median and it will all look the same from 696 to M-59,” Beauboeuf said.
Planners hope this will not only bring a more calming atmosphere for drivers, but a sense of community to the corridor.
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