Return to Home Page 221 West First Street
Duluth, MN 55802
Mille Lacs Lake Scenic Byway Design Project RFP

Release Date: Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Due Date: Friday, September 30, 2016 – by 4:30 p.m.

Request Issued by:
Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC)

ARDC is seeking to contract with a landscape architect professional, or a qualified site design consulting team, to work within a public process in the Mille Lacs Lake area that potentially could result in surrounding roadways being designated as an official Minnesota State Scenic Byway.

The East Central Regional Development Commission (ECRDC) and the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) will be conducting a planning process to assess the feasibility of, and support for, designating a series of roadways surrounding Mille Lacs Lake as a State Scenic Byway. As part of its role in the assessment project, ARDC will be identifying and contracting with a landscape architect or similar professional. The landscape architect will be responsible for leading a public design process for one public space (a wayside rest) on the byway. The resulting design will serve as an example of the types of public improvements that scenic byways can facilitate. Additionally, the landscape architect will be asked to design a potential logo, roadside signs, and other visual themes.

A steering committee of stakeholders will be established and will participate in the design process as a part of the overall project.

The budget for the landscape architect is limited to a maximum of $12,500.

It is expected that the landscape architect awarded this contract will meet with the steering committee in-person at least three times. The first meeting would occur to gain knowledge of the process, the area, and potential themes and ideas, as well as to identify the site for the wayside rest design. At the second meeting the landscape architect will be expected to share draft designs for the themes, signage, and wayside rest and to take comments and questions from the committee. The third meeting will be used to share final designs and cost estimates for the project elements and address feedback.

Final design elements should be in enough detail to gain basic cost estimates for their implementation. Construction level plans are not being sought.

The purpose of the design elements is to demonstrate possibilities and to help encourage support of the byway designation. Artistic renditions of elements will be helpful.

The design process will need to occur between December 2016 and June 2017.

Interested parties should submit a brief proposal to ARDC containing the following:

1. Description of proposed design process containing at least three in-person meetings - unless the proposer can demonstrate a better approach
2. Succinct qualification descriptions of the key personnel that would be working on the project
3. Descriptions of two similar projects the proposer has completed previously – links to project websites are preferred rather than lengthy descriptions
4. Listing of contact information for one reference, preferably a client for a similar project
5. A budget showing costs for personnel, travel expenses, directly related office supplies and administrative costs (significant equipment purchases will not be allowed) – note that the budget cannot exceed $12,500

The total proposal should not exceed three pages.

Proposals should be emailed to Andy Hubley at before 4:30pm on September 30, 2016. Questions should be sent to the same address. Answers to any questions received will be made available to all potential proposers at:

ARDC and ECRDC will determine a project awardee in October 2016. The decision will be made primarily on demonstrated ability rather than cost. Check for decision updates.


To download this document for print purposes, click here.

Q & A
Q & A
Q: Can you explain your expectations for the wayside rest?

A: I.E. What elements to you anticipate being included in the wayside rest? Roadway, car parking, truck parking, building (fully enclosed, toilets, vending etc.), and/or shelter(s); Dog Walk, trails, paths, interpretive elements, picnic areas, natural areas, etc. The site will be small. Car parking (no trucks), small picnic area, interpretive panels, benches, short walking path, possibly an enclosed vault toilet. This list could change once the first meeting is held with the committee.

Q: Are you expecting themes, signage for the entire Scenic Byway or just a single wayside rest?

A: The RFP states we will lead a public design process for one public space as well as the design of a logo, roadside signs and “other visual themes” The single wayside rest is the priority. The logo and signage will be very similar, if not the exact same. We simply want the design of a logo/sign that would be used in multiple spots on the byway to let people know they are on the byway. “Visual themes” would be things that the committee might want to see a design for, but I hadn’t anticipated. We would determine at that time if their request could fit into the design budget or not. If it can’t be done under the budget, we will just set it aside for future consideration.

Q: Where do you anticipate the meetings will be held?

A: They will most likely be held at the Wahkon City Hall on the south side of the lake.

Q: Are you expecting costs estimates as part of our scope of work?

A: We would be expecting basic cost estimates. Ballpark, not exact.

Q: Is there a specific location identified for the wayside rest?

A: Not officially (the committee may want to weigh in), but we are looking at site just north of Isle on the southeast shore – currently it is a wayside and lake overlook with a geological marker and a short trail. It could be a really nice site, but currently has a standard guardrail and a large, undefined pavement area.

Q: Are there any other resources available to supplement the budget?

A: Possibly - I do have some sources that could be interested. Submit your proposal that outlines what you think it will cost to get the project done right. We could still pick you for the project and then seek additional sources to cover the funding over $12,500.


Regional Planning Division Programs
NE MN Area Transportation Partnership (ATP)
North Shore Management Board (NSMB)
Northern Aero Alliance
Healthy Northland

ARDC Directions
Click HERE for Directions and Parking Information

Select a Font Size Set Display to the Normal Font Size Set Display to a Larger Font Size Set Display to the Largest Font Size