Stromberg Garrigan & Associates led a decade-long community planning, urban design, and public involvement process for the City of Ranson’s efforts to revitalize its urban core as part of a federally funded effort to address numerous vacant and blighted properties, including several large brownfields parcels. A key component of this effort was an idea originally conceived of in an 1892 plan for the new planned city: the creation of a grand boulevard. The concept was revived in the Two Towns-One Plan downtown revitalization strategy funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and developed by SGA principals in 2002. The City of Ranson was successful in obtaining two U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER grants to fund the design and construction of the long awaited 1.1-mile boulevard. The project included conceptualizing how the original boulevard concept would adapt to all of the modern conditions and design requirements while maintaining its original intended placemaking form and function.
SGA developed the overall urban design guidelines for the corridor, which correspond to the adopted form-based Smart Code zoning for the Old Town District. From there, landscape architectural designs and engineering of the streetscape elements were prepared, along with permitting, bidding, and construction administration support.
A major aspect of the project was the inclusion of significant stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) and green infrastructure. The project included extensive integrated green components, including structural soil systems, bio-retention pre-treatment flow-through planters, and vegetative swales, in order to address chronic flooding problems and to comply with the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) regulatory requirements. The project included 35 bio-retention flow-through planters and was the first major green infrastructure transportation project constructed by the West Virginia Department of Highways.
The $12M project was completed in 2017 and has supported both cities’ economic development initiatives, which include more than $50M in downtown redevelopment and a new campus for American Public University.