2016 WisDOT Excellence in Highway Design Award Finalist for Best Urban Design
WisDOT Northwest Region (Eau Claire)
City of Independence, Wisconsin
A Street to Indee Boulevard
- Detour Route Planning
- Design Reports
- Public Involvement
- Utility Coordination
- Drainage / Storm Sewer Design
- Sanitary Sewer & Water Main
- Lighting Design
- Sidewalk Reconstruction
- Structures & Retaining Walls
- Environmental Analysis (Hazardous Materials & Environmental Report)
- Agency & Local Official Coordination
- Transportation Project Plat
- Streetscape Design
- Topographic, Utility & Plat Survey
- Plans Development
- Plans, Specifications & Estimate (PS&E)
When KL Engineering developed plans for STH 93 in Independence, Wisconsin, they sought more than just a cost-effective design. The 1.3-mile stretch of roadway passes through 13 intersections, runs by a church and cemetery, crosses a bridge connected to a historic dam below Bugle Lake, and winds through a town center featuring a number of century-old buildings. Closing the bridge—the thoroughfare’s only link between the north and south sections of the city—for rebuilding would force a 24-mile detour on regional road users, and an eight-mile detour on locals. KL Engineering strived to deliver a fiscally viable design that would improve safety, preserve the character of Independence and the integrity of its historic structures, and minimally impede road users and business owners during construction.
KL Engineering conducted a thorough evaluation of the route. A ground penetration radar (GPR) survey of the cemetery bolstered design of a six-foot retaining wall along its length. The drive to prevent construction surprises led to the identification beneath a sidewalk of a storage room from a defunct bottling plant, and unveiled numerous other problematic curiosities before the contractor found them.
Unique Features & Challenges
The many unique features and challenges of this project included:
- Realigning three in-town roadway curves with poor sightlines and substandard radii
- Constructing a new bridge with minimal interruption to traffic flow while preserving bridge elements connected to a historic dam
- Installing temporary railing on the dam for pedestrian use during bridge construction
- Cutting four feet from the roadway profile alongside the cemetery and installing four retaining wall sections and stairs, in between the retaining walls, without disturbing graves for improved driver sight distance
- Building over abandoned coal chutes running from the road to buildings
- Improving aesthetics of the route in a design that embraces bicyclists, pedestrians, and historic structures
The streetscape plan was developed after multiple meetings with the local committee to determine the limits of their aesthetic improvements. A theme was developed through input from local officials and community residents that incorporated decorative lighting with accessories, street furniture, stamped colored concrete, decorative grates for trees planted by the city, a bridge with decorative railings and form liners, and retaining walls along a historic property.
KL Engineering’s design met the STH 93 project challenges so effectively that the change order cost associated with the design came in at 0.33% of actual bid levels. The result is a safer, attractive route that accentuates the historical charm and integrity of downtown Independence, Wisconsin.
Project construction began in 2014 and was completed in 2015.
Construction Cost: $6.1 million.