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Big changes ahead for Broadway? Here's what you need to know

Big changes ahead for Broadway? Here's what you need to know

Consultants on Monday presented the city council with an $87 million recommendation to reconstruct Rochester's busiest arterial roadway.

The redesigned Broadway would still have four lanes of traffic north to south, but several upgrades would be made to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians.

"What an awesome potential Broadway has," council member Michael Wojcik told the Med City Beat. "It's the north-south corridor through Rochester. But you look at it today, it's ugly; it's blighted; it's unsafe for everyone, including cars."

The firm behind the recommendation, SEH of St. Paul, was commissioned to come up with the most cost-effective options for maintaining the current infrastructure, while also improving Broadway for other modes of transportation.

The consultants examined Broadway outside the DMC district from 37th Street North to 28th Street South. The portion of Broadway that passes through the downtown was not considered in the study.

SEH also presented the council with two other options, ranging from a $63 million maintenance-only option to a 30-year reconstruction plan that would run about $102 million. 

Ultimately, though, they concluded that the 15-year option would make the most sense for Rochester. The city already has $26 million set aside for the project from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. 

"Broadway is a street that if we reconstructed it — and we did it right, and we did it fast and efficient — the whole decade of the 2020s could be taken up with Broadway construction projects," Wojcik said.

The recommendation was only meant as a framework for future discussion, so the council did not take any action at Monday's meeting. However, funding for further research could be included in the city's 2016 budget.

At the very earliest, construction is still a few years away. Consultants recommended making the section immediately north of Civic Center Drive to 14th Street North the early focus point.

A full copy of the study is available here.


Correction: A prior version of this story incorrectly quoted Mr. Wojcik. When referring to the construction timeline, he stated the "2020s," not the "1920s" as previously reported.


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(Cover photo: The Med City Beat)

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