Arts + Culture for Construction Mitigation: Hwy 250 in Lanesboro, MN

Principal Investigator(s):

Frank Douma, Director, State & Local Policy, Humphrey School of Public Affairs


Project summary:

Roadway construction projects can have a lasting negative impact on communities. During the construction process, noise, debris, detours, and other impacts can have a negative effect on quality of life, the economy, and pocketbooks in communities--especially in main street (urban and rural) environments. The aim of this project is to answer: Can placemaking, temporary art, community or cultural events support quality of life and help offset the negative impacts of road construction? And will maintaining the number of visitors, as well as enhancing resident participation, help offset economic hardship and social disruption of main street construction? The primary goal is to test, document, and evaluate the premise that arts and culture can help overcome the disruption of highway construction and mitigate negative impacts on businesses, residents, and visitors. The secondary goal is to identify and test potential partnerships and funding strategies to support place-making, temporary art, community, or cultural events to complement traditional mitigation strategies and tactics used to help offset the negative impacts of highway construction. As of March 31, 2023, contract amendments to increase local involvement and incorporate the Minnesota Department of Transportation's delay of construction on this project until 2027 were nearly complete, and further public contact and other visible steps will begin to ramp up throughout 2024.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2024017
  • Start date: 06/2023
  • Project status: Active
  • Research area: Planning and Economy
  • Topics: Construction, Economics