Transportation Improvement Conference Agenda

Session Descriptions, Speakers and More

Please use this page to learn more about the sessions at the 2022 Transportation Improvement Conference. Each session has a title, description and speaker. Click here to download a print agenda. Full attendance is eligible for 5 PDHs if attending all sessions.

Tuesday, March 8
Livability: Leveraging Infrastructure Improvement Projects to Reconnect Communities (2:00 - 3:15 p.m.)

Speakers: Keith Baker, ReConnect Rondo & Gloria Jeff, AICP, MNDOT

ReConnect Rondo is leading a restorative movement to revitalize an African American cultural enterprise district with a community land bridge offers an opportunity to build with a forward lens. An inclusive and equity-based local economy that not only restores what was lost, but to reconnect community. It also creates a continuous cycle of net-positive economic, social, and environmental benefits for the neighborhood and beyond. The restorative development approach championed by ReConnect Rondo leverages the principles of the circular economy, regenerative urbanism, and smart city technologies to create district wealth and wellbeing, while intentionally creating career paths and living-wage jobs for residents who have been denied access to economic opportunity in the past.

MnDOT Metro District in collaboration with neighborhood residents, businesses, educational institutions, faith communities, community leaders, and social service providers developed a Livability Framework.  The Framework represents an acknowledgement that the people served by transportation facilities and services are interested in outcomes beyond the condition of the infrastructure.  This Framework can be integrated into community led efforts like the Rondo Cultural District.

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine the efforts of ReConnect Rondo's efforts to revitalize the district.
  • Discover what role MnDOT has played in developing a Livability Framework.
  • Understand the importance of diversity & inclusion throughout the transportation process.

A1. Towards Ethical Practice
Speaker: Jeffrey Russell, UW-Madison

Practically speaking, ethics is a very complicated topic. What it includes and does not include varies from individual to individual as well as from one organization to another. The goal of the talk is to engage us in thinking about what it means to practice ethically. This session is eligible for an ethics PDH.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review what ethics mean in a professional setting.
  • Discover what you can do individually to be more ethical.
  • Understand how to apply individual ethics to a workplace.

A2. Leading Through Remote Work
Speaker: Shawn Belling, UW-Madison

Remote work is here to stay in some form. Attendees will hear from an expert in the field who can highlight the importance of being a leader in this hybrid environment.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review lessons learned from remote working during the pandemic.
  • Learn what leadership looks like in a hybrid environment.
  • Discover how you can impress clients and excel remotely.
Networking Reception (4:30 - 6:00 p.m.)

Wind down after the day and meet other attendees. Each attendee will receive a drink ticket and appetizers will be served. It's a great way to continue networking!

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Wednesday, March 9

Morning Session (9:00 - 10:15 a.m.)

Speakers: Chris Klein, ACEC WI; Glenn Fulkerson, FHWA; Secretary Craig Thompson, WisDOT

Hear from the leaders in transportation in Wisconsin and learn about upcoming initiatives from each organization.

B1. Emergence of Collaborative Project Delivery
Speakers: Rick Larson, Autodesk; John Rathke, Mead & Hunt

The transportation design and construction industry are starting to practice and move towards collaborative project delivery practices worldwide, aided by building information modelling (BIM) tools and processes. The current shortage of professionals trained in BIM remains a barrier to universal adoption of collaborative working practices in the industry. Collaborative project delivery requires not only the learning of new technologies/software, but also the learning of a new way of working. This means moving from a culture of siloed, paper and outdated information and duplication to one of information sharing, collaboration, and integrated project delivery. This presentation will focus on the gaps to achieve this delivery environment and build a bridge for these gaps through needed education, transparency, trust, policy and technologies.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand actions needed to move to a collaborative project delivery process forward.
  • Learn about various dimensions of modeling and integrations necessary for best practices.
  • Discover barriers to effectively move culture to a collaborative project delivery process.

B2. Utility Coordination - Scheduling & Worksheet Enhancements
Speakers: Michael Baumann & Heath Bielefeldt, WisDOT

The WisDOT processes for scheduling utility coordination and relocations are undergoing improvements. A new utility coordination scheduling tool has been developed for use during project scoping. The improved scheduling will be utilized to reduce project delivery risk and provide adequate time for relocations to occur prior to construction. With this new schedule, project plans are anticipated to be mailed much earlier in the process. In addition, best practices will be presented on including the durations for utility relocations on the DT1923 Contract Time for Completion.

Major revisions have been incorporated into the DT2236 Utility Worksheet. The format of the worksheet has changed and utilizes attachments. This will result in a higher level of detail being provided by the utility owners. This detail will foster improved communication between the project staff and utility owners to reduce utility-related issues on projects.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about the new utility coordination scheduling tool in TUMS.
  • Understand expectations for including utility relocation time in the Contract Time for Completion form.
  • Evaluate effective and proper use of the revised DT2236 Utility Worksheet.

B3. Wisconsin Roundabout Updates
Speakers: Amanda DeAmico & Ben Wilkinson, MSA Professional Services; Van Walling, WisDOT

This session is designed for anyone who works on roundabouts in Wisconsin or anyone who wants to get into that field. Attendees will hear about recent developments in roundabout design and what updates are being considered going forward.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review recent changes to the facilities design manual affecting roundabouts.
  • Learn about new developments in operational analysis.
  • Understand data being gathered from safety studies.

B4. Estimating Costs on WisDOT Projects
Speakers: Jill Fehrman & Fred Schunke, WisDOT

The course will provide the attendees an opportunity to learn where estimating tools and guidance are located as well as receive information on current bidding trends.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review current bidding trends with all the uncertainty revolved around the pandemic, material, and labor shortages.
  • Understand the latest estimating guidance and recommendations and learn where to find this information.
  • Learn about other guidance and recommendations that would make estimates more consistent and reliable.

B5. I-41 Project – Brown and Outagamie Counties
Speakers: Charlie Webb, Jacobs; Scott Ebel, WisDOT

I-41 is a critical backbone route in Wisconsin’s Connections 2030 State Highway Plan and part of the National Highway System. This corridor is a major passenger and freight route connecting the Fox Cities to Fond du Lac and Milwaukee to the south and Green Bay to the north. Join the project team as they provide an overview of the findings of I-41 Environmental Assessment and what is coming next!

Learning Objectives:

  • Review the project history/origin, purpose and need.
  • Develop understanding of the EA process through this project example.
  • Gain from lessons learned for future projects.


Networking Lunch (11:40 a.m. - 1:10 p.m.)

Attendees will gather for lunch. As part of the time, WisDOT representatives from each region will be available in breakout rooms. Attendees are encouraged to visit these "open house" rooms and meet with WisDOT regions in an informal setting.

C1. ADA Curb Ramps
Speaker: Jill Mrotek Glenzinski, WisDOT

This training session is designed to provide participants with a detailed understanding of the design of accessible sidewalks, curb ramps, signals, etc. and the relationship to project scope. Using an example based approach participants will be guided through several pilot efforts to demonstrate the role of effective scoping, context based design approaches, technical infeasibility challenges and best practices. This course will provide the context for the role of compliance in the broader goal of accessibility.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review techniques of effective scoping of curb ramps and areas of risk.
  • Learn the goals and lessons learned from the WisDOT stand-alone curb ramp program and efforts to increase compliance of the state highway system in Wisconsin.
  • Discover real-world examples and challenges of technically infeasible ramps and solutions to implement the best design that is practical yet accessible.

C2. WisDOT Design/Build
Speaker: Ben Thompson, WisDOT

This session will be focused on providing updates about the new WisDOT Design/Build program. The WisDOT Design/Build program is rolling out a new contract delivery method for some WisDOT projects. This method combines the design and construction into one phase. Come learn the benefits and challenges of this type of delivery, the current status of the WisDOT Design/Build program and the next steps for the program.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review the new delivery method for WisDOT contracts.
  • Discover challenges and benefits associated with this alternative delivery method.
  • Understand the next steps in the development of the Design/Build program.

C3. Lessons Learned During the Bidding Process
Speakers: Michael Coleman & Tara Weiss, WisDOT

The goal of this session is to promote awareness of design addenda data as well as discuss common questions during bidding. Understanding these recent trends offers insight regarding the importance of plan quality during the bidding process.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand trends and commonalities in addenda data.
  • Review statewide perspective on addenda.
  • Learn common plan check comments and common contractor questions.

C4. Autodesk Construction Cloud Implementation with WisDOT
Speakers: Eric Arneson, WisDOT; Adam Clayton, JT Engineering; Todd Sanders, HNTB

Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC), formerly BIM 360, is an innovative cloud-based extension for the Civil 3D brand of design tools. This tool provides many of the features of SharePoint, and other file sharing tools into an integrated platform that expands cloud sharing to a whole new level. Come hear about the WisDOT vision of pilot programs utilizing this tool, experiences in implementation, and innovative uses for future applications.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about the history leading up to, and the decision to pilot the ACC extension for Autodesk for WisDOT projects.
  • Hear about the process, challenges, and lessons learned from conversion of project files from Sharepoint to ACC for the I-41 Corridor Program.
  • Discover innovative approaches to the use of ACC, including clash detection, Plan Reviews, and other collaborations.

C5. Right of Way – The Right Way
Speakers: Norman Pawelczyk & Abigail Ringel, WisDOT

The program outlines the need for and timeline of a successful right of way project. We will stress the importance of knowing how to develop a successful project schedule and avoid potential pitfalls. A variety of tools will be provided to assist in the facilitation. The goal is to provide designers with a high-level overview to work with the real estate area to reach the common goal.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review what laws, policy and procedures regulate ROW activities.
  • Understand what is an effective and “typical” timeline.
  • Learn how the designer can avoid common and costly pitfalls.


D1. Construction Lessons Learned
Speakers: Jesse Schreiner, KL Engineering; Lance Wagner, RH Batterman

Construction of IH-39/90 from the Stateline to Madison and Fish Hatchery Road in the City of Fitchburg were recently completed. These two highly complex projects presented numerous challenges during construction. Join project leaders from each of these projects to hear about unique issues encountered during construction as well as the benefits of close collaboration between construction and design teams to develop cost effective, efficient solutions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain knowledge on unique construction challenges for urbanized and freeway projects.
  • Learn unique design solutions to address unique construction challenges.
  • Understand benefits of design/construction team collaboration.

D2. Flex Lane Implementation on Madison Beltline Highway
Speakers: Nick Bennett & Jerry Shadewald, HNTB; Luke Holman, Strand Associates; Brenda Schoenfeld, WisDOT

This session is geared towards providing attendees an overview on the innovative strategy being applied to the USH 12/14/18/151 (Madison Beltline). Adding a shoulder travel lane (Flex Lane) to the beltline in Madison to be used during peak hour traffic conditions and special events allows for additional lane capacity while maintaining the overall footprint of the original highway. The addition of flex lanes have been used successfully in many other states and is a new tool being implemented by WisDOT for addressing the capacity and safety challenges along the busiest roadway network in Madison.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover new innovative techniques for management of heavy, peak traffic flows.
  • Understand challenges associated with implementing new technologies (i.e. public awareness, etc.).
  • Review lessons learned in design and construction.

D3. Public Involvement
Speakers: David Hunt & Jay Waldschmidt, WisDOT

In this session, attendees will learn about the latest requirements and best practices for public involvement. Come to hear about the difference between virtual vs. in-person Public Involvement Meeting and Public Hearing processes and protocols. Finally, learn about the new In This Together Program (BOCSI): as design is established, creating clear expectations and positive outcomes to share with locals and the business community.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand required elements and protocols of a Public Involvement Meeting and Public Hearing in the COVID-19 world.
  • Determine how to right-size public involvement efforts.
  • Review the available tools and resources to work with the business community, as well as how WisDOT is continually working to improve quality of service in this area.

D4. Diverging Diamond Interchanges (DDI)
Speakers: Brad Halvensleben & Dan Ryan, KL Engineering

Diverging Diamond Interchanges (DDI) are now becoming a standard interchange solution in Wisconsin. This session will cover the basics of a DDI layout, including why they’re chosen, pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and lessons learned from previously completed DDIs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the features of a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI).
  • Establish why a DDI is chosen.
  • Identify lessons learned from design and construction.

D5. Environmental Updates
Speakers: Jennifer Gibson & Michael Helmrick, WisDOT

Hear about the latest developments in the world of environmental policy project-level environmental compliance. The new DOT/DNR Cooperative Agreement Attachments will be showcased including: The Aquatic Connectivity Attachment, The Delegated DNR Design Concurrence Attachment and Certification Template, The status of other attachment efforts, WisDOT’s implementation of and partnership in the Monarch Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA).

Learning Objectives:

  • Apply the latest required policies and procedures for ensuring the environmental elements of their projects are documented in a legally sufficient manner.
  • Learn about the new Aquatic Connectivity Attachment to the DNR-DOT Cooperative Agreement and how it will affect projects in the future.
  • Understand WisDOT’s partnership in the Nationwide Monarch CCAA and how it will be implemented at WisDOT.

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WisDOT Design Awards (3:45 - 4:30 p.m.)

Emcee: Dan Tyler, WisDOT

Conclude the conference in style! The WisDOT Design Awards recognize the best transportation projects from around the state. Cheer on the winners as we highlight engineering designs that really made a difference.