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Steger Drops Knowledge During University Avenue Case Study

Aaron Steger, PE, KL Engineering’s Vice President of Engineering Services and Business Development, and Yang Tao, PhD, PE, City of Madison Engineer, presented at the 12th National Access Management Conference at the University of Wisconsin – Madison campus.

This annual event, held by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies, explores the relationship between access management and urban design, transportation design, land use planning, right-of-way, land development, and complete streets. Steger and Tao led a session that discussed access management issues they encountered during the University Avenue (CTH MS) reconstruction project in the City of Madison.

The project reconstructed a 1.9 mile segment, from Allen Boulevard to Segoe Road, into a four-lane divided urban roadway with multi-modal accommodations and improved intersection geometrics. The project included corridor evaluation with six signalized intersections, school crossing at Spring Harbor, and extensive access management – including driveway consolidation, right turn u-turns, and medians.

KL Engineering’s staff led major public involvement efforts for this project that affected people in City of Madison, City of Middleton, and Village of Shorewood Hills within Dane County. Due to limited available right-of-way, the widening of the roadway was a design challenge that KL’s design team overcame, while also avoiding and minimizing impacts to residents and businesses. Wisconsin Department of Transportation recognized the University Avenue project with the 2013 Excellence in Highway Design Award for Best Urban project.

Now five years after the project was completed, Steger and Tao discussed the various access management treatments that were implemented and the public involvement strategies that were utilized. Significant benefits have been realized, such as reduced number of crashes, improved traffic flow, increased bike/pedestrian activity, and additional commercial development.

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