Council approves intersection traffic study

For Center and Garden Streets

NEW ULM — The New Ulm City Council authorized a request for proposals to conduct an engineering study and concept design for the Center Street and Garden Street intersection.

The intersection of Center Street and Garden Street has been long identified as a difficult crossing for vehicles and pedestrians during the morning and afternoon when school is in session. The intersection has also been identified as a safety priority by the City of New Ulm Safety Commission, Heart of New Ulm, and Safe Routes to School Team.

Staff requested a formal Engineering Study and Intersection Control Evaluation report and concept design of alternative intersection configurations.

If approved, the study would include the collection of field data such as traffic volumes, delay time, pedestrian counts, bicycle counts and accident history. The study would also gather public input on the intersection, data analysis, concept design of the preferred alternative and report and concept design presentations.

The request is to seek a proposal from consultants to conduct the study. Any proposal and associated engineering fees received by staff would be brought back to the council for consideration.

City Engineer Joe Stadheim believes a consultant could finish the study before the end of the year. With a formal study, the city could seek future funding requests for the construction of the preferred alternative treatment.

Stadheim was uncertain of the timeline for funding. It could take years to go through government funding cycles before receiving approval. He also acknowledges that improving the intersection might not be feasible due to the hill grade.

The reason the concept design was included with the request for proposal.

“We may have a preferred alternative, but we may find we can’t construct it because of restraints,” Stadheim said “but this will give us some legs to stand on in determining how to move forward.”


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