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Scenic & Historic Roads
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Corridor Management Plan
Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway
Minnesota Highway 38 
Minnesota Department of Transportation 
in collaboration with the US Forest Service

Coordinated the work of municipal, county, state, and federal agencies to develop one of the nation’s first corridor management plans for a National Scenic Byway. The comprehensive plan fostered improved safety and mobility, community development in northern Minnesota, and enhanced the ecological function of a sensitive National Forest. 

The corridor management plan became model for other scenic byways and the template for developing final design construction plans for the highway and roadside amenities.  In 2005, as part of a National Best Practices in Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) competition, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recognized the Edge of the Wilderness Corridor Management Plan (CMP) and the reconstruction projects it facilitated, as the Best CSS Project in the United States. Similarly, in 2006, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) honored the Edge of the Wilderness corridor with its prestigious biennial national Excellence in Highway Design Award for Rural Highways.

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Great River Road Development Study

International Falls to Iowa Border, Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Transportation

A complex team of tourism and economic development specialists, historians, planners and landscape architects were employed to generate a major re-examination of the purpose and potential of the Great River Road from International Falls to the Iowa border for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. This project demonstrated Craig Churchward’s ability at managing complex corridor projects with multiple constituencies with competing demands. The project involved dozens of jurisdictions and interests. It required the through the effective use of extensive public engagement, on-the-ground research, and the efficient coordination of an interdisciplinary planning team. 

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Interpretive Plan for Minnesota
Great River Road National Scenic Byway
Lake Itasca to Iowa Border, Minnesota 
Minnesota Department of Transportation

Craig Churchward orchestrated the work of a team that researched and composed interpretive stories about the places and people that formed the landscape and character of the 500-mile route of the Great River Road in Minnesota. Six interpretive panels were designed for prominent locations in each county of the twenty-one counties along the river. The stories were presented like chapters of a book—a book whose chapters could be read in any order without missing the overarching theme that the Mississippi River binds together both natural and human communities along its entire length. The planning and design work was completed in ten weeks to meet critical funding deadlines. The comprehensiveness and quality of the product resulted in substantial additional funding for construction.

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Corridor Management Plan
Great River Road in Kentucky 

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet 

This project assembled—in one month—a Corridor Management Plan that would be ready for submittal as part of the nomination process for national designation as a scenic byway by the Federal Highway Administration. An effective corridor management plan was produced in three weeks that identified the route’s scenic, recreational, historical, and archaeological resources that defined the character of the route and guided their future development. The plan also established a management structure, a vision statement, an outline of goals, a target-market analysis, a list of development projects, an implementation guide, and suggestions for funding development and marketing. Based on this plan, the FHWA designated the GRR in Kentucky a National Scenic Byway in 2009.

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Operational Manual
Tourist Development Manual
Interpretive Tourist Map
Historic US Route 66
Between Chicago and East Saint Louis, Illinois 
Illinois Department of Transportation

This project produced an operations manual, a tourist development manual, and an interpretive tourist map for over 400 miles of the nationally significant Historic Route 66 in Illinois between Chicago and Saint Louis. The Route 66 Operational Guidelines provided municipal, county, and state jurisdictions with the ability to coordinate policies and procedures to maintain the historic integrity of the aging route. The Route 66 Tourism Opportunities manual provided interested parties with information pertinent to the intertwined history of the highway and its adjacent communities; how to coordinate the interpretation of the highway corridor with other communities; and suggestions on how to create interpretive sites to attract tourism. The Illinois Historic Route 66 map has received critical acclaim in the Illinois press and the most popular map (after the annual state highway map) ever produced by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Besides being reprinted in English several times, it has been translated and printed into three other languages: French, German, and Spanish to accommodate demand from international tourists.

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Corridor Management Plan
Ladyslipper Scenic Byway 
Chippewa National Forest
Beltrami and Cass Counties, Minnesota
United States Forest Service 

This project (originally called Scenic Highway Scenic Byway) developed of a new type of Corridor Management Plan, one that is based on defining and preserving the experience visitors and residents have of the Great North Woods. Using established public engagement techniques and working with the US Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service to provide an effective GIS-based map of the corridor’s resources, the consultant led the community in defining its goals and establishing implementation strategies for developing those scenic, historical, and recreation resources which significantly contributed to the scenic byway experience. 

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The Edge of the Wilderness project was managed by Craig Churchward as an employee of MnDOT; the Great River Road Development Study and the Great River Road Interpretive Plan as an employee of SEH; Route 66 projects as an employee of Barton-Aschman/Parsons Transportation Group; and Ladyslipper Scenic Byway and the Great River Road in Kentucky as an employee of HNTB. Photos by Craig Churchward or from project portfolios. Illustrations from project portfolios.