SRF was a key partner in the consultant team completing the METRO Gold Line (Gateway Corridor) Draft Environmental Assessment. The Washington County Regional Rail Authority (lead agency), Ramsey County, Metro Transit, MnDOT, and partner communities from Saint Paul to Woodbury (acting as the Gateway Corridor Commission) followed the FTA New Starts process to construct a dedicated guideway BRT transitway providing efficient, all day, bi-directional transit service for the east metro. As a member of the consultant team, SRF assisted the Commission in selecting a locally preferred alternative (LPA) for inclusion in the Metropolitan Council’s long-range transportation policy plan, developed engineering concepts for the corridor, and completed EA documents required for the project to advance under state and federal environmental requirements.
SRF developed design concepts for the eastern portion of the corridor, which is challenged by very limited right of way, proximity to the Dayton’s Bluff historic district, and difficult topographical relationships between the dedicated guideway and adjacent I-94 corridor. These conditions required a thorough examination of a range of options, including freeway BRT; on-line, in-line and off-line station locations; interchange modifications; and local street options to balance neighborhood impacts, transit access, and freeway operations. SRF also provided ridership modeling for the corridor, including ridership estimates for both the Gold Line and express bus service in the corridor.
SRF was instrumental in preparing the social impacts portion of the EA, addressing land use, community impacts, and environmental justice. We also prepared a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) , identifying potential health benefits to be gained by promoting both transit use and more active transport options in the corridor. Finally, SRF prepared high-level preliminary station area plans that introduced the corridor cities to transit oriented development principles and regional development requirements.
In addition, SRF assisted Washington County with a wide range of public engagement tasks: managing Community Advisory Committee, and Policy Advisory Committee and providing strategic advice regarding agency relationships and the FTA New Starts process.
Currently in the design phase, SRF is providing water resources, structural, and traffic engineering services to the consultant team. SRF also led the stormwater management efforts for the project. We facilitated an Issue Resolution Team (IRT) process, where we led a process to listen to city, county, state, and regulatory stakeholders to understand their perspectives on stormwater management. Using a stormwater BMP toolbox assembled for the project, the IRT team developed a foundation to accomplish project goals while protecting the conveyance systems and natural resources along the corridor.
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