The project includes a holistic set of transportation improvements designed to address safety challenges for the 30,000 vehicles and over 1,000 pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users who access the corridor daily, while at the same time, advancing equity, enhancing mobility, and revitalizing the economic development environment along the West Florissant Avenue corridor in North St. Louis County.
During the initial engineering design stage of this project, CMT worked in collaboration with advisory groups, residents, business owners, neighborhood groups, and schools – a process that led to the development of four goals and overarching themes for this project that would benefit the community beyond right-of-way improvements by:
- Strengthening Identity: The project will reflect the values, dreams, and work of the communities and create an attractive sense of place.
- Enhancing Mobility: The project will make it easier and safer for residents to live, work, and play along the corridor, no matter the mode of transportation.
- Building Momentum: The project will build momentum along the corridor by linking communities, activities, and developments in the area.
- Connecting Communities: The project will connect communities and improve economic conditions.
To meet the established goals, the project team focused on several innovative elements beyond the technical to transform West Florissant Avenue into a street that serves the community as a whole.
Engaging the Next Generation
Included in the Great Streets Project is CMT’s robust, award-winning on-the-job training program, with more than 3,260 intern hours logged through engineering, landscape architecture, urban planning, economic development, communications, and other tasks. CMT hired interns, all of whom were area residents, from local colleges and universities. These interns had the opportunity to develop valuable knowledge and skills through their experience, while also making meaningful contributions to the work by providing unique design considerations and perspectives to move the project forward. This was the first use of an on-the-job program for St. Louis County DOT, and it will continue through the remainder of design and project construction.
Prioritizing Project Diversity
Another central aspect of the project was a focus on diversity that exceeded the initial expectations of St. Louis County. Not only was the DBE goal exceeded, but the project team also tracked workforce diversity, including gender and race. Incorporating diverse perspectives helped the team gain a deeper understanding of the issues people in the area face and resulted in the development of a customized public-engagement program.
Elevating Quality of Life, Place, and Opportunity
According to Ferguson, MO, Mayor Ella Jones, “West Florissant holds the key to the quality of life of the people in this area.”
Through a fulsome CMT-led public engagement process that informed our West Florissant Avenue design work, the project team identified those quality-of-life advancements most important to the community, such as enhanced street lighting, new roadway safety improvements, increased traffic-calming measures, added landscaping, and additional safe and accessible walking and biking amenities.
Centering Funding to Drive Implementation
Securing outside funding was critical to taking this project beyond just a plan. With an eye toward ultimate implementation, CMT supported the client through the identification, pursuit, and procurement of vital funding resources. This included a lead role preparing the successful application for U.S. DOT’s RAISE grant program.
Our team is honored to have had the opportunity to contribute to this work, alongside a collaborative stakeholder team including St. Louis County, the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, Health + Homes STL, Great Rivers Greenway, Metro Transit, the City of Dellwood, and the City of Ferguson. We’re excited to be a part of the project as it moves from planning to implementation.
To learn more about how CMT’s funding assistance services are helping bring client infrastructure projects to fruition, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.