About 20 people joined a virtual public meeting to view the designs for the 14th Street project Wednesday, June 17.

Matt Bolf, an engineer from Short Elliot Hendrickson in Duluth, explained the designs as he showed them in three sections of 14th Street.

The biggest changes include bump outs at busier intersections such as Sahlman Avenue, Doddridge Avenue and Selmser Avenue to help improve pedestrian safety by slowing down traffic, said Dan Hinzmann, engineer.

The design also includes a roundabout at the intersection of Washington Avenue and 14th Street. The plans for the intersection weren't finalized at the March 9 public meeting. Bolf said at the time they were looking at either a stop light or a roundabout.

Hinzmann said the designs are 30% complete. The project will span from Cloquet Avenue to Stanley Avenue during the first phase in 2021. The second phase will end at Tall Pine Lane in 2022.

The county normally receives about $3.3 million in state construction funding annually, said JinYeene Neumann, Carlton County Engineer. The funding was expected to cover the cost of the project, but due to COVID-19, the amount is expected to drop 15-20%, Neumann said.

"We have funding we have not spent yet this year and we can borrow ahead from the state aid," Neumann said.

Hinzmann said the city of Cloquet will take advantage of the construction to do utility updates, including replacing water mains and fire hydrants. The county will replace the old storm sewer mains along the entire corridor, Neumann said.

Cloquet resident Gary Maki asked if the power lines would be buried in this design. Hinzmann said he does not believe the power lines will be buried, but said conversations with Minnesota Power are ongoing.

Maki also wondered if there would be improved street lighting in the new design. Hinzmann said at this point the only new lighting is planned at the roundabout.

Residents were encouraged to ask questions about the designs after the meeting.

There will be another public meeting at a later date for people to view the final design, Neumann said.

The meeting was recorded and is available on the Carlton County website: https://www.co.carlton.mn.us/CivicMedia?VID=11.

Residents can leave comments and feedback at the engineering firm's site: bit.ly/14thstpublic.