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South Loop District Wayfinding

Background

Wayfinding helps drivers determine how to get where they want to go through the use of signs.  The signs can be a standard metal sign in which the message does not change (static) or it can be an electronic sign with a message that changes depending upon traffic conditions (changeable or dynamic).  A metal sign at a fast food restaurant directing you to the drive-thru lane is a simple example of wayfinding.  Examples of changeable signs can be found in downtown Minneapolis and near TCF Bank Stadium directing to parking ramp locations and parking availability.

Currently there are five main access points from the regional freeway system to the South Loop District:

  • TH-77 at Lindau Lane
  • TH-77 at Killebrew Drive
  • TH-77 at East Old Shakopee Road
  • I-494 at 24th Avenue
  • I-494 at 34th Avenue.  

In the South Loop District some roadways and intersections currently encounter substantial congestion while other roads and intersections are relatively unused.  Previous traffic forecasting and studies have identified the need for a wayfinding system to assist drivers in finding their way to destinations within the District, as well as to aid in balancing trips on the South Loop area roadway network. 

Wayfinding Components

The overall wayfinding system envisioned for the district can be broken into three components:

Freeway Component  Completed 2011

I-494, TH-77 and TH-5

PDF iconSix dynamic, electronic, changeable signs were installed on the freeway system to replace the existing static (non-electric) signs leading drivers to the Mall of America (MOA).  Since they are dynamic and electronic, the message indicating which exit to use to get to MOA can be changed based on congestion levels, traffic incidents or road construction. This allows for a more efficient use of existing roadway infrastructure, reducing travel time and fuel use.  In addition to the 'normal' busy weekends at MOA, the freeway signs will be beneficial in managing traffic while future phases of MOA are constructed, including the associated roadway and infrastructure improvements. The City, with the assistance of MOA traffic management staff, requests MnDOT to change the sign message from a predetermined and pre-approved set of messages. 

Local Roadway Component  Completed 2015

Project background

The local road component includes the installation of traffic monitoring cameras and construction of electronic and static signs on the local roads within the South Loop District to provide information to drivers on routes to District destinations, routes to freeway access points, and parking locations.  The local roads include Lindau Lane, Killebrew Drive, East Old Shakopee Road, American Boulevard, 24th Avenue, 28th Avenue, 30th Avenue, and 34th Avenue.

Goals of the local component

  • Assist vehicular traffic in finding their within the South Loop District by providing real-time guidance.
  • Relieve stresses on the area transportation system.
  • Balance traffic on the routes within the District.

Project funding

The City of Bloomington applied for and received a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program grant, which will fund a portion of the project.  Remaining project costs are funded through a special assessment to the Mall of America and City of Bloomington funds. 

Project schedule

  • Feasibility study ordered City Council: July 2, 2012
  • Design ordered City Council: January 6, 2014
  • Design completed:  June 2014
  • Project bid: August 2014
  • Procurement signs, structural steel:  Fall/Winter 2014
  • Operational software network configuration:  Winter 2014/15
  • Construction begins:  April 2015
  • Dynamic message sign and software testing: Spring - Fall 2015
  • Project complete: Fall 2015

MOA On-Site Component  Future Development

Within ramps and circulation roads on Mall property

To be implemented with design and construction of future MOA development phases. 

Updates to Local Roadway Component

2013-201 South Loop Local Road Wayfinding

Nov 25

Operation of the permanent local road wayfinding system will begin the weekend of November 27 with the display of messages directing to available parking at the Mall of America.  The messages will be changed depending upon Mall parking conditions.  As parking ramps fill, the messages will indicate which ramp or ramps are full and also direct motorists along the least congested route to parking lots off of Lindau Lane or 24th Avenue.  In the upcoming weeks, additional messages will assist motorists traveling to freeway entrances and to the 28th Avenue Park and Ride.  Operation of the local road component of the South Loop District wayfinding system is occurring in partnership with the freeway wayfinding component operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Nov 6

Message testing and validation of the dynamic message sign displays began earlier this week.  Single messages are being displayed continuously on the dynamic messages signs to confirm that software and sign displays are working as expected.  Testing and validation will continue throughout the week of November 16.  Operation of the permanent local road wayfinding system will begin following completion of testing and validation.

Oct 2

Power and communication cabling to the dynamic message sign on Lindau Lane near the TH-77 ramps is ongoing.  The new service cabinet at 24th Avenue and 82nd Street has been installed and is operational.  The contractor is coordinating with Xcel Energy for power connection to the new service cabinet at American Boulevard and Thunderbird Road.   

Sept 18

The final electronic message sign was mounted onto an existing overhead sign structure on Lindau Lane near the TH-77 ramps the morning of September 18.  The contractor has received shipment of the final two service cabinets and is coordinating installation dates/times with Xcel Energy.

Aug 14

Fiber testing identified an anomaly in the cabling near the Killebrew Drive & 20th Avenue intersection.  Options for fiber replacement are being reviewed.  The final two service cabinets and final electronic message sign will be installed by the contractor once shipment has been received.  An early September timeframe for delivery is currently anticipated.

Aug 7

The service cabinet work at Lindau Lane & Ikea Way and Killebrew Drive & 20th Avenue is complete.  The rerouting, splicing, and termination of fiber cables to the new fiber cabinets is also complete.  Testing of the fiber network is ongoing.  A video was prepared by the Communications Department depicting the installation of the dynamic message sign mounted on the west side of the Lindau Lane grade separation bridge.  The video aired on Bloomington Today: The BUZZ July 29- August 4 and is available for viewing at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajr1lSCZe6Q.

July 31

The dynamic message sign on the west side of the Lindau Lane grade separation bridge has been installed.  The Lindau Lane & Ikea Way and Killebrew Drive & 20th Avenue signalized intersections will be placed into all-way stop on Friday, July 31 to facilitate service cabinet work by the contractor.  The traffic signals are scheduled to be returned to normal operation the same day (Friday).  Rerouting, splicing, and termination of cables to the new fiber cabinets is ongoing. 

July 17

Xcel has completed the three power connections to service cabinets that will power the new fiber optic cabinets.  Upcoming activities include installation of a dynamic message sign on the west side of the Lindau Lane grade separation bridge, camera configuration, and rerouting, splicing, and termination of cables to the new fiber cabinets.

July 10

Xcel Energy has completed power connection to one of the three new service cabinets.  The rerouting, splicing, and termination of existing cables to the new fiber cabinets will occur upon completion of the power connections.

June 26

Cameras have been installed and connected to the power and communication cabling.  Fiber splicing and terminations are ongoing.  Activities the week of June 29 are anticipated to include camera configuration, cabinet equipment configurations, and power connections by Xcel to three of the new service cabinets.

June 19

The landscaping has been installed around the pole foundations.  Rerouting of existing cables to the new fiber cabinets is ongoing.  The camera cabling has been installed.  Activities the week of June 22 are anticipated to include continued fiber splicing and terminations, cabinet equipment configurations, camera installations, and turf establishment.

June 12

The concrete pours for the cabinet pad foundations are complete.  The fiber cabinets have been installed and rerouting of existing cables to the new fiber cabinets will continue into the week of June 15.  Additional activities the week of June 15 are anticipated to include continued fiber splicing and terminations, camera installations, and landscaping around the pole foundations. 

June 5

The dynamic (electronic) message signs have been installed on the pole mast arms.  Activities anticipated for the week of June 8 include continued conduit, fiber, and cabinet pad foundation installations. 

May 29, 2015

All concrete pole foundations have been installed.  The structural steel poles that will hold the dynamic (electronic) messages signs have been placed on the pole foundations.  Activities the week of June 3 are anticipated to include installation of conduit, fiber, cabinet pad foundations, and placement of the dynamic message signs onto the pole mast arms.

May 22, 2015

The majority of concrete pole foundations have been installed, with two remaining along American Boulevard. The structural steel poles that will hold the dynamic (electronic) messages signs will be installed after the pole foundation concrete has cured.  Conduit installation is ongoing. Activities the week of May 25 are anticipated to include installation of cabinet pad foundations, conduit, fiber, and placement of structural steel poles.

May 15, 2015

Installation of pole foundations, conduits, and concrete equipment pads will continue the week of May 18 focusing on project areas along 24th Avenue (American Boulevard to Killebrew Drive). Staking, and the locating of existing underground facilities at remaining project locations along American Boulevard, Lindau Lane, Killebrew Drive, 34th Avenue, and 24th Avenue (north of American Boulevard) are also scheduled for the week of May 18.

May 11, 2015

The contractor anticipates having three crews on-site the week of May 11.  One focusing on drilling pole foundations, the second on installing conduits, and the third on installing concrete equipment pads.  Contractor activities will focus along 24th Avenue (American Boulevard to Killebrew Drive).

May 1, 2015

Directional drilling of conduits began Wednesday at the Killebrew Drive & 24th Avenue site location.  Construction activities currently scheduled for the week of May 4 include additional directional drilling, staking, and the locating of existing underground facilities along American Boulevard at 24th and 28th Avenues.

April 27, 2015

Staking, and the locating of existing underground facilities at the Lindau Lane, 82nd Street, and Killebrew Drive intersections along 24th Avenue is complete.  Directional drilling of conduits was rescheduled for the week of April 27.

April 17, 2015

There are eleven areas within South Loop that the contractor will be installing wayfinding infrastructure along the local roads.  The contractor will be staging construction activities in order to minimize the duration of construction at each area.  Periodic lane and sidewalk closures will be needed throughout the project.  Contractor activities are currently focusing on staking, and the locating of existing underground facilities along 24th Avenue (American Boulevard to Killebrew Drive).  Configuration of the operational software used to control the local road system cameras and dynamic (electronic) message signs is ongoing.  Directional drilling of conduits in the project areas along 24th Avenue are scheduled to being the week of April  20th.

April 13, 2015

The 2013-201 South Loop Local Road Wayfinding project was awarded to Egan Company late September 2014.  The project includes the installation of traffic monitoring cameras, and electronic and metal signs on the local roads within the South Loop District to provide information to drivers on routes to South Loop destinations, routes to freeway access points, and parking locations. 

There are eleven areas within South Loop that the contractor will be installing wayfinding infrastructure along the local roads.  The contractor will be staging construction activities in order to minimize the duration of construction at each area.  Periodic lane and sidewalk closures will be needed throughout the project.  During the week of April 13 the contractor plans to start work in three areas along 24th Avenue (Lindau Lane to Killebrew Drive).   Initial construction activities are expected to include staking, and locate marking of existing underground facilities.  The majority of construction activities are anticipated to be completed by mid-June, weather depending.

Throughout the project design and construction, updates will be provided via this website, the project update page listed below, through E-Subscribe