Access Management Manual traffic
Road work ahead. Yes, it’s that time of year again! Construction crews are gearing up in work zones across the country. Looking ahead to this season’s construction projects, we encourage our teams to look for ways to better support our clients.
Just a few years ago, a Mead & Hunt construction team helped implement a successful project based on better management of traffic during the reconstruction of the US 151 bypass of Beaver Dam in Wisconsin.
The Mead & Hunt construction administration team worked with the contractor to make some revisions that minimized ramp closures, inconvenience to the public, and the need for expensive fast-track paving and high-strength concrete.
US 151 is a principal arterial that connects northeastern Iowa to southern Wisconsin and is a heavy freight route for manufacturing and agriculture. Built in the 1960s, the Beaver Dam Bypass segment of the highway was showing its age. The original concrete pavement had been overlayed and was showing distress. The original bridges were substandard in width and vertical clearance. In addition, there was a dangerous interchange at the south side of Beaver Dam that provided limited access, causing motorists to make U-turns in the median of US 151.
Reconstruction of the bypass began in 2011 and was slated for completion in 2013. The project consisted of a new diamond interchange that provided full access to the community’s southern end, reconstruction of three other interchanges, replacement of eight bridges and placing 14 miles of new concrete pavement.
A focal point during planning, design and construction was safely moving traffic through the construction zone and providing access for the residents and customers to the many retail stores in Beaver Dam.
By working closely with the contractor, our team recommended a change in the staging to WisDOT that would improve accessibility, minimize traveler inconvenience and reduce costs.
It was actually a fairly simple solution. We coordinated with the contractor to pave the ramps in an earlier stage thus simplifying construction and eliminating the need to close access. Our staff presented the idea to the DOT demonstrating the potential cost savings of eliminating expensive items, not having to construct the temporary ramp and not closing access and detouring traffic.
In the end, by being able to offer suggestions from the job site, we were able to save thousands of dollars in construction costs. Also, the contractor was able to pave the section of roadway without gaps and hand pours – delivering a higher quality result.
The Beaver Dam Bypass project was opened to full traffic with the completion of all earthwork, paving and structures in 2012, instead of its estimated opening in 2013, and was below contract cost.
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