Downtown Sidewalk Experience Enhancement Project to Kick Off

May 16, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MINN. – The City of Rochester and Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency are announcing the beginning of the Downtown Sidewalk Experience Enhancement project on Monday, May 16th. The purpose of the project is to replace the deteriorated brick inlay with an exposed aggregate pattern similar to other areas in downtown.

The new sidewalk will eliminate the tripping hazards caused by the brick inlay popping out. Pedestrian ramps will also be improved in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines. As a result of these improvements, the overall downtown pedestrian experience will be enhanced.

“It is great to see this project take its next steps after continuous input from the community requesting these upgrades,” shared City of Rochester Project Manager Jaymi Wilson. “On top of safety improvements, the Downtown Sidewalk Enhancement Project will bring a new level of visual appeal to our Downtown area.”

An important part of the project will be the implementation of Business Forward strategies that were pioneered during the Heart of the City Phase I project. Business Forward seeks to minimize the impact of construction on businesses and pedestrians in the area. Some of the tools implemented include strategic phasing of the project, maintaining access to businesses, and the placement of public art to beautify the space.

“Adding art to the otherwise mundane concrete barriers is a creative way to add vibrancy to an important pedestrian space,” said Founding Director of Threshold Arts Naura Anderson. “This collaboration with the City and DMC helps Threshold Arts fulfill our mission to support local artists financially while connecting the community with their work in nontraditional ways. Our hope is that these murals will bring more folks downtown, and that they will support neighboring businesses, while they are in the area.”

The first phase of the project will begin on the southwest corner of Broadway Avenue and 4 Street SW and will move up the west side of Broadway to 3 Street SW. As a result, southbound traffic on Broadway Avenue will be reduced to one lane in the project area. Upon completion of this phase, the project will move over to the east side of Broadway. The total project scope includes sidewalks along Broadway Avenue from 2 Street North to 4 Street South as well as sidewalks along Historic 3rd Street SW and 1 Avenue SW. For more information on the Downtown Sidewalk Experience Enhancement, please visit the project webpage.