Heart of the City Phase One Construction Updates

Heart of the City Phase One Rendering

The first phase of Destination Medical Center’s Heart of the City public realm project is a renovation of Peace Plaza and surrounding areas. The new design will create active, engaging experiences for residents, visitors and patients in the heart of downtown Rochester.

The Heart of the City project team is available to help with any questions, concerns, comments and ideas.
You can contact the Heart of the City Team anytime at:

507-328-2021

The project team has heard from many businesses with great questions, ideas and suggestions and we thank you for your help.

Emergency Line: 507-218-3866

View the Peace Plaza webcam here.

View the 1st Avenue webcam here.

Updates:

5/29/2020:

What You See: Progress This Week

Rock Trencher Continues Work: The rock trencher has been successful at the project site since it began last week. It “trenched” down 1st Ave. SW from Peace Plaza to 2nd Street SW in less than a week. Starting next Tuesday, it will work on 2nd Street SW starting from S. Broadway Ave. and moving toward 1st Ave SW. View a video about the rock trencher and its work at Heart of the City here.

Vault excavation: Excavation for the scrim pool vault on Peace Plaza began this week and will continue next week.
Upcoming Announcements

S. Broadway Ave. Lane Shift: A lane shift on S. Broadway Ave. between 1st and 3rd Streets SE/SW is in effect. Southbound traffic is shifted into northbound lanes, with one travel lane in each direction. This is expected to be in effect until approximately June 3rd, at which point both lanes will be shifted into the southbound lanes for approximately four weeks for a Public Works project. Both lanes will be shifted back into the northbound lanes for another four weeks for the public works project before returning to normal traffic patterns.

Business Forward Updates

Mayo Clinic Update: Erin Sexton, director of community engagement at Mayo Clinic, provided an update related to patient activity. The Rochester campus has been seeing an increase in patient activity in the past couple weeks, with patients from all 50 states scheduling appointments. She added that Mayo Clinic is finding that patients want to see consistent, visible signs of safety and sanitation procedures both at Mayo Clinic and at hotels, restaurants, and stores, such as people actively cleaning spaces and signage detailing cleaning protocols.Clean and Safe Ambassador Program Update: The cleaning component of the Rochester Downtown Alliance’s Clean and Safe Ambassador Program is set to launch July 1. Daily cleaning services like sanitizing high touch areas of public spaces, power washing sidewalks, and picking up litter will be performed by a team of Clean Ambassadors. Learn more here.

Masks Available: The Chamber of Commerce has masks available to businesses who need some. E-Mail Kathleen Harrington at [email protected] for more information.

Webinars for Restaurants and Bars: The Chamber of Commerce is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, June 2 at 3:00 p.m. on steps restaurants and bars can take to reopen their outdoor dining in a safe manner. You can also view a recording of Destination Medical Center’s recent webinar on the safe reopening of retail and restaurants here.

Reminder – Business Deliveries: Please contact Troy Dale, project superintendent, at 701-430-4010 to help coordinate deliveries to your business. 


5/22/2020:

What You See: Progress This Week

Rock Trencher Begins Work: The rock trencher was mobilized last week and began work this Tuesday. The rock trencher is a unique piece of equipment and was selected because of its ability to increase production and shorten the construction timeline. To date, the trencher has done its job: in three days, it has completed approximately 190 feet of trench through about 6-7 feet of rock. The original production rate was anticipated to be 10-20 feet per day.

You will also notice that the grinding associated with this machine is much quieter than the hammering associated with traditional methods. Though the noise may be unpleasant, the team is achieving its goals of reducing the timeline and minimizing the noise associated with this work. View a video of the rock trencher here.

Upcoming Announcements

Pedestrian Access – 2nd Street Intersection: There may be increased congestion over the next five weeks at the intersection of 2nd Street SW and 1st Ave. SW (see map below – designated with red cloud shape). In order to assist with this period, we are committed to assisting pedestrians in way finding to reach their destinations. In addition to way finding signage posted throughout the site, we will have an individual stationed at the intersection to assist pedestrians and the project team will keep businesses informed of upcoming changes.

S. Broadway Ave. Lane Shift: A lane shift on S. Broadway Ave. between 1st and 3rd Streets SE/SW is in effect. Southbound traffic is shifted into northbound lanes, with one travel lane in each direction. This is expected to be in effect until approximately June 3rd, at which point both lanes will be shifted into the southbound lanes for approximately four weeks for a Public Works project. Both lanes will be shifted back into the northbound lanes for another four weeks for the public works project before returning to normal traffic patterns.

Vault excavation: Excavation for the scrim pool vault begins Tuesday on Peace Plaza. (See map below for the location – designated with red solid rectangle.) 

Business Forward Updates
Reminder – Business Deliveries: As more businesses reopen, please contact Troy Dale, project superintendent, at 701-430-4010 to help coordinate deliveries to your business. 

5/15/2020:

rock trencherWhat You See: Progress This Week

Rock Trencher Arrival: The rock trencher arrived onsite Wednesday and was assembled in order to begin work Monday, May 18 (see picture on the right). It will begin on 1st Ave. SW.

Sitework and Utilities: Installed sanitary sewer in Peace Plaza and installed storm sewer on 2nd Street SW.

Upcoming Announcements

New flexible walkways: Two new flexible walkways are being installed Friday, May 15: One across 1st Ave. SW between the corner near Lasker Jewelers to the Wells Fargo entrance, and one across Peace Plaza between Wells Fargo and Primp Boutique. (see pedestrian map below).

The walkway across 1st Ave. SW between Salute Wine Bar and Primp Boutique will not be accessible next week as the rock trencher begins work in that area.

S. Broadway Ave. Lane Shift: Starting Thursday, May 21, southbound traffic on S. Broadway Ave. will be shifted east, between Center Street and just past the project site on 2nd Street SW. This lane shift will be in effect for about eight days. 

Business Forward Updates

COVID-19 Safety Supplies: The Rochester Strong App announced it will be updating the app with information to help businesses find COVID-19 related supplies, such as hand sanitizer and masks. Additionally, Majestic Tents is selling and renting hand sanitizing stations and selling hand sanitizer by the half gallon. Contact [email protected] or call 507-876-1127 to purchase.

New curbside pickup locations: Two additional curbside pickup locations are being added Friday, May 15: one along S. Broadway Ave. next to the Shops at University Square and another along 2nd Ave. SW, next to the Kahler Hotel near the Gonda Building roundabout.

Reminder – Business Deliveries: As more businesses reopen, please contact Troy Dale, project superintendent, at 701-430-4010 to help coordinate deliveries to your business.

Rochester Downtown Alliance Quarterly Update: Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) held its quarterly stakeholder update on Wednesday, May 13. View a recording of the presentation here.

 


5/8/2020:

What You See: Progress This Week

1st Ave. Sub Cut

Peace Plaza waterline: The waterline was installed in Peace Plaza and the connection to Chateau Theatre will be made the evening of Friday, May 8.

Preparation for Rock Trencher: Crews dug a sub cut down 1st Ave. SW in preparation for the rock trencher’s work (see picture on the right.) The rock trencher will carve a trench down the road for the sanitary sewer to be placed in.

Sidewalk Reopened: The sidewalk in front of the Chateau Theatre is open again.

Upcoming Announcements
New flexible walkways: Two more pedestrian walkways will begin to be installed. One will run across 1st Ave. SW from the corner near Lasker Jewlers to the area near the Wells Fargo building entrance. The other will cross the east side of Peace Plaza, from the Wells Fargo entrance to the corner near Primp Boutique.
Rock trencher exampleRock Trencher on Site: The rock trencher will be brought on-site May 11 and takes about a week to set up. The trenching work could begin May 18. (see picture on the left for an example of what the machinery looks like.) The rock trencher will accelerate the rock removal process and is not as loud as other alternatives. The trencher will begin work on 1st Ave. SW, then move to 2nd Street SW. 

Business Forward Updates

Business Webinars: Destination Medical Center recently hosted the Road to Recovery webinar series, covering a variety of topics related to safely reopening key sectors of our economy. View each webinar in its entirety here. Additionally, the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a webinar series, “Path Forward,” for businesses on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. 

Clean and Safe Ambassador Program: The Rochester Downtown Alliance is hoping to launch its new Clean and Safe Ambassador Program approximately four weeks after the Stay at Home order in Minnesota is lifted. The ambassadors will focus on cleaning duties throughout the downtown area. 

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5/1/2020:

What You See: Progress This Week

Water Service Connections: The Marriott/1st Ave. SW water main and the Chateau/Peace Plaza water main will be connected Friday, May 1 at 5 p.m.

Marriott Temporary Drive: Paving of the temporary drive at the Marriott hotel was completed Thursday, which means public traffic and construction activities are now separated from one another.

Good News – University Square Sanitary Manhole: There was going to be intrusive sanitary work at the front entrance of University Square. However, a solution was discovered to re-use an existing manhole at University Square. This is good news, as it will save about one week of work and no longer requires the digging of another 14-foot hole at the entrance of University Square. The sanitary line along Peace Plaza will be installed sooner than anticipated.

Upcoming Announcements

Water shutdown in 100 1st/Odd Fellows Building: Water will be shut down in the 100 1st Ave. SW/Odd Fellows building either May 7th or May 8th as part of work to remove the Marriott watermain connection. 2nd Street Flexible Walkway: The flexible pedestrian walkway at 2nd Street SW and 1st Ave. SW will be installed Monday, May 4.  

1st Ave. SW Flexible Walkway – North Side: The flexible pedestrian walkway on 1st Ave. SW on the north end of the block will be poured next week and opened for use May 11. (This will connect the west side of Peace Plaza near Lasker Jewelers to the other side of 1st Ave. near Wells Fargo Bank.)

Rock trencher exampleRock Trencher on Site: The rock trencher will be brought on-site May 11, and could begin trenching May 18. (see picture on the left for an example of what the machinery looks like.) The rock trencher will accelerate the rock removal process and is not as loud as other alternatives. 

City Loop Project Begins May 4: Phase One of the City Loop construction begins on May 4 to improve bicycle safety and access in downtown Rochester. Construction will begin with curb and gutter and pedestrian ramp work along 3rd Avenue SW and 4th Avenue SW from 6th Street SW to Civic Center Drive NW. Find project details here.   

Business Forward Updates
Curbside pickup: Project managers are working with area businesses to help facilitate curbside pick-up locations as more businesses begin re-opening. 

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4/24/2020:

What You See: Progress This Week

Peace Fountain being moved into storage

Removal of Peace Fountain: Peace Fountain was successfully removed and placed into storage. It will be restored and reinstalled in Peace Plaza. The Heart of the City design team is working with the Charles E. Gagnon Museum to understand the original intent of the fountain and to maintain Charles Gagnon’s vision for his work. 

2nd Street Closure: 2nd Street SW between 1st Ave. SW and S. Broadway Avenue was closed Monday, April 20 and will remain closed through late summer. Sidewalks are still accessible. Starting May 4, pedestrians will also be able to cross 2nd street at the 1st Ave. SW intersection. This closure accommodates improvements to the deep utility and sewer, supporting the continued growth of Rochester. 

Waterline completion: The waterline was completed from Peace Plaza to 2nd Street SW. This allowed crews to create the temporary turnaround solution for vehicular traffic at the Marriott Hotel and dock access that will remain in place for the duration of construction.

Peace Plaza under constructionUpcoming Announcements

Water Main in Peace Plaza: As work on the water main under Peace Plaza continues, access to the sidewalk in front of the Chateau Theatre will be restricted April 27 – May 6. A flexible walkway will across 1st Ave SW at Peace Plaza will be installed April 24.

Sanitary Structure in Peace Plaza: Excavation for a new sanitary structure under Peace Plaza will affect portions of the East side of Peace Plaza approximately May 11 – June 12.

Scrim Pool Vault Excavation: The vault that will serve water service for the new scrim pool at Peace Plaza will be located on the East end of the plaza close to Luxe and Chester’s. Crews plan to work on the excavation from May 4 – July 3.

North food pick-up

Business Forward Updates

Curb-side Pick-Up Site at Victoria’s: There are now five parking spots that are available for additional retail and food pick up signs marking designated parking for picking up carryout at the North end of 1st Ave. SW.

Alley Access: With the closure of 2nd Street SW between 1st Ave. SW and S. Broadway Ave., construction managers are working individually with businesses and delivery drivers who need access to the adjacent alley. Contact Kraus-Anderson Project Superintendent Troy Dale at 701-430-4010 with questions related to alley access.

 

 

 

 

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4/17/2020:

What You See: Progress This Week

1st Ave. SW Water Main Install: Crews started the installation of the water main on 1st Avenue SW at 8’ down from grade.

Peace Plaza / 1st Ave.: Crews completed Peace Plaza foundations and removed the Experience Rochester information kiosk and plaza lighting.

Peace Fountain Removal: Crews have disassembled Peace Fountain and moved it offsite for refurbishing. The fountain will be reinstalled in Peace Plaza at a later stage of the project. The Heart of the City team thanks Arlyn Gagnon and the Charles E. Gagnon Museum and Sculpture Garden for their support of the fountain’s refurbishing and its important presence in the Heart of the City.

Upcoming Announcements
2nd Street SW Closed: Starting Monday, April 20, 2nd Street SW between S. Broadway Ave. and 1st Ave. SW will be closed until later this summer to upgrade utilities.
Other Updates

Construction crews will continue to practice best social distancing techniques needed to ensure effective and safe conditions for construction. Learn more about social distancing and other safety measures at construction sites from DMC’s recent webinar, Construction Safety in a COVID-19 Environment.

In a continued effort to support local businesses, Kraus-Anderson continues to update the site phasing and circulation plan to best accommodate pedestrian and vehicular traffic within the site.

Site fencing is completed. Additional wayfinding signage will be added to the fecning once stay-in-place orders are changed.

Temporary lighting is installed at the site to provide additional visibility for pedestrians.

Traffic barriers are being adjusted to better accommodate turn-around and drop-off at the Marriott Hotel.

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4/3/2020:

Heart of the City Project Offers Opportunity During COVID-19 Pandemic

Construction Set to Begin on April 13

Heart of the City Phase One Rendering

The first phase of Destination Medical Center’s Heart of the City public realm project, a renovation of Peace Plaza and surrounding areas, is set to begin construction April 13, 2020. Moving forward with the project will utilize local businesses and promote employment in a challenging economy. The new design will create active, engaging experiences for residents, visitors and patients in the heart of downtown Rochester, Minnesota.

Heart of the City Phase 1 is focused on the redevelopment of three areas in the heart of downtown Rochester: East side of Peace Plaza, 1st Ave. SW between 2nd Street SW and W. Center Street and the adjacent alleys. The updates will provide enhanced safety measures, including curbless streets, and provide greater accessibility for people of all abilities. Movable seating options will allow for a variety of public programming. The addition of more trees as well as interactive art displays and water features will create a family-friendly space to gather in the downtown area.

To prepare for construction, traffic barriers will be placed on 1st Ave. SW between 2nd Street SW and W. Center Street and on the East side of Peace Plaza on Monday, April 6, 2020. Pedestrian access will be maintained to all businesses within the construction zone. There will be vehicular access to the Marriott Hotel valet and Mayo Clinic loading area.

The upcoming construction also includes a collaboration with Rochester Public Works to replace and realign the sanitary sewer from under the Shops at University Square and 2nd Street SW between 1st Ave. and S. Broadway Ave. This provides additional capacity for continued development and supports long-term maintenance of the sewer system. Traffic barriers will be placed on 2nd Street SW between S. Broadway Ave. and 1st Ave. SW on Monday, April 20, 2020 in preparation for the sanitary sewer replacement.

Key Project Dates

Monday, April 6, 2020        Pre-construction site preparation, including traffic barriers placed on 1st Ave. SW between 2nd Street SW and W. Center Street and on the East side of Peace Plaza

Monday, April 13, 2020      Heart of the City Phase 1 construction begins

Monday, April 20, 2020      Traffic barriers placed on 2nd Street SW between S. Broadway Ave. and 1st Ave. SW

“As Rochester and the rest of the nation deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Destination Medical Center is working collaboratively with various community organizations to assist with economic stability in Rochester,” said Lisa Clarke, executive director, DMC Economic Development Agency. “Advancing the Heart of the City project is one way to achieve this in the short term.”

“Heart of the City construction will create jobs, support many local businesses and help sustain the local trades industry. This project and others within the DMC district will be important for Rochester’s economic recovery,” said Rochester Mayor Kim Norton.

Project leaders are working with construction manager Kraus-Anderson to determine which phases of construction can be accelerated in the coming weeks while many businesses in Rochester remain closed. Additionally, project leaders are assisting businesses that remain open during the pandemic to meet their needs.

Safety is a top priority on the Heart of the City construction site. Kraus-Anderson has implemented stringent social distancing and other elevated safety protocol on construction job sites, details of which can be found here.

Heart of the City Phase 1 construction will implement DMC’s Business Forward Strategy, developed in partnership with the City of Rochester, Rochester Downtown Alliance, and Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. This means decisions will be made throughout the construction process to prioritize and accommodate businesses’ and customers’ needs. For example, contractors will provide clear paths to businesses, ample lighting and wayfinding signage and consistent sound and dust mitigation. Additionally, project leaders plan to introduce new public programming to keep the plaza active during construction.

Weekly updates on construction progress will be posted on the DMC website and a dedicated hotline has been established: 507-328-2021.

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