Providing a great view, keeping cars out of the pond

Posted in: Environmental, Highways

The Milwaukee River flows just east of Campbellsport, a small community in Fond du lac County, Wisconsin. It has maybe as many as 500+ families according the 2010 census. But this is a tight community that is proud of their assets.

This winter, the Mead & Hunt team is designing a roadway project that will fix the road entering the community. STH 67 is experiencing aging, deterioration and safety issues. Village residents want us to fix the roadway while providing a beautiful, welcoming view and address important environmental concerns.

The view from the roadway is unique because of a new wetland adjacent to the roadway. There was a mill pond near the STH 67 resurfacing project, but for a variety of reasons the dam was removed in 2011. With the mill pond drained, the Milwaukee River is in the process of finding a new path.  It is expected that the former pond area will slowly transform from a wetland to upland as the land heals itself. Also as the stream settles into its new alignment the view of the upland and waterway will be spectacular.

The project has some unique challenges

During the design of the STH 67 resurfacing project, we discovered cracking in the driving lane closest to the pond suggesting that the foundation of the roadway was probably compromised due to the type of soil in the area. In fact additional soil investigations verified our suspicions that the soil was not suitable as a good roadway base.

Because the roadway runs along what was the bank of the mill pond, a beam guard and retaining wall had been installed along the edge to keep erratic cars from landing in the pond. However during our investigation we learned that the beam guard and retaining wall were failing. In many areas it actually sloped towards the pond.

Our new design for this segment of road will remove the pavement from the centerline out towards the wetland, along with the failing beam guard and retaining wall. In its place, a new roadway will be built, including a shoulder wide enough to accommodate bicyclists. On the edge, the earth will be sloped towards the wetland, but no beam guard or retaining walls will be replaced. The amount of wetlands displaced will be minimized as much as possible.

The resulting roadway will provide drivers and bicyclists a new, smoother surface with an unobstructed view of the beautiful land and Milwaukee River.

Rusty Chesmore, PE

About the Author

Rusty Chesmore, P.E., has a strong background with high profile projects requiring extensive public involvement efforts. He welcomes public opinion on his projects, frequently working with outside organizations like historical societies and environmental bureaus to find the best possible solutions for his clients. In addition to his public involvement role, Rusty manages and provides quality assurance for transportation projects nationwide.

Read more posts by Rusty Chesmore, PE

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