December 16, 2019

State Street Redevelopment Project wins prestigious complete streets best project award

state-street As a complex transportation project that included 20 lane miles of road work, collaboration and innovation were essential to the successful completion of the State Street Redevelopment Project. (Purdue University Administrative Operations photo) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), an international professional organization, named Purdue University and the city of West Lafayette’s collaborative State Street Redevelopment Project as the winner of the 2019 Complete Streets Council Best Project Award.

The distinction recognizes innovative design solutions that benefit the profession and the public related to complete streets – those that enable access for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

Nominated projects were required to demonstrate a community-driven process for decision making, set and measured multimodal performance goals, collaboration with a broad stakeholder base, secured funding for project implementation and documented economic benefits.

In addition to meeting the award requirements, the State Street Redevelopment Project enhanced safety in the area and transformed the roadway from a multi-lane state highway to a vibrant destination for the campus and community.

“By transforming State Street and some surrounding roads into multi-modal spaces, we were able to improve the safety of those traveling through campus by better separating different modes of transportation,” said Michael B. Cline, senior vice president for Purdue’s administrative operations. “Vehicles still have their own lanes, but now pedestrians and bicycles also have dedicated infrastructure.”

A focal point of the project was to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to travel safely alongside motor vehicles while improving connectivity through the addition of new and improved sidewalks, 8,300 lane feet of cycle track, 12,200 lane feet of shared use paths, and 33,700 linear feet of landscaping to provide a buffer between pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

A number of intersections were reconstructed to include roundabouts or decrease the street width and crosswalk length. Many of these intersections have seen fewer vehicle crashes since the project was completed, including State and University streets, State and Russell streets, State Street and McCormick Road, Stadium Avenue and University Street, and Stadium Avenue and McCormick Road.

The sidewalks and shared-use paths have increased walkability along the scope of the project, and patrons of local shops and restaurants in Chauncey Village can take in the scenery, courtesy of new outdoor seating. Artful railing was installed along this section of State Street to not only enhance the look and feel but also promote pedestrian safety. While a variety of establishments already adorn the campus and vicinity, new growth opportunities to live, learn, work and play have been and continue to be drawn to the reimagined area.

“What was accomplished during the project was no small feat, and the impact on the local economy has been significant,” said West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis. “This is certainly something to be celebrated.”

The project helped stimulate over $500 million in local economic investments that could support upward of 3,500 new jobs. Electric power research will be housed in the new Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, located adjacent to campus, and retail and office space is being added in Discovery Park’s Convergence nearby. Additionally, a small-format Target store will occupy the ground floor of a five-story building, and several private development apartment complexes have opened including Campus Edge, The Rise and Aspire in the Discovery Park District.

“Plenary is thrilled to be part of this innovative project and the transformation of such a key corridor for the city of West Lafayette and Purdue University. Traffic safety and mobility has improved, and State Street has become a gathering place for the community and visitors alike,” said Dale Bonner, Plenary Concessions executive chairman.

Purdue University, the city of West Lafayette and Plenary Roads State Street created a robust partnership to manage the $120 million project that encompassed the West Lafayette campus and extended from U.S. 231 to the Wabash River. The project – which includes 22 years of pavement maintenance – began in 2016 and was completed in November 2018. 

Media contact: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, jsbush@purdue.edu

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