Located south of Owatonna, Minnesota along I-35W near the Straight River in Steel County, this is one of the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (MnDOT) last rest areas in the southern plains of Minnesota prior to the more urban rest areas to the north.
The project is expanding the growing need of commercial traffic and parking as well as new rest area facilities, recreation areas and picnic shelters. Turning radii, traffic flow and extensive coordination with MNDOT’s specialists are allowing us to maximize the existing infrastructure while expanding for the growing capacity of the site. Safety, security and clarity of traffic movement around the site are paramount to the projects success. The building and site design will both respect and highlight the unique qualities of this specific site for the visitors. Site amenities and landscaping will offer an opportunity to provide resting places for visitors, a playground for kids, dog exercise areas or just a place to stretch one’s legs and rejuvenate during a long drive.
Further, they offer an opportunity to more vividly connect the visitor’s to this place, its history, culture, geography and its flora and fauna. Programmatically efficient, this scheme capitalizes on its compact planning to create a singular and dramatic effect for the visitor that immerses the visitor within this place creating a memorable but also user friendly experience.