The new Health and Human Services Center, Ne-Ia-Shing Clinic, and District I Community Center have been completed in the Sher development on Timber Trail Road in District 1. Visitors to the facilities are met with natural beauty of the surrounding wild habitat and new homes.
However, due to the location, many clients and guests were having challenges finding their way to the campus, so staff in the Community Development Department conducted research on placement of directional signs on local highways.
They worked with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, which has consulted with tribes on a government-to-government basis to develop a Community Wayfinding Program that gives tribes the opportunity to include their name and logo on destination panels.
A lot of work went into designing the signs determining placement. The Mille Lacs Band, MnDOT, and TAPCO (the company the Tribe uses for signs) discussed the size, fonts, and wording in a months-long process. When the footwork was completed and approvals made by the Mille Lacs Band, the signs were put out for production.
During the week of January 12, Public Works started installing the first of 16 Community Wayfinding Sign panels. Public Works started close to the HHS campus and is working their way out.
Travelers will notice some differences between some of the panels. For example, the panels on US Highway 169 will not have, dual language, but the signs off of the highway will. You will also not see the word ”clinic” on the signs along Highway 169, since the Ne-Ia-Shing Clinic is not generally open to the public.
Public Works is able to install a couple of these signs per week with an approximate completion date of February 1. Public Works still follows all the same rules for general contractors when installing signs.
Due to cold weather, crews needed to use ground thawers to heat the ground in order to install the brackets to hold up the signs.