Beloit Powerhouse Riverwalk Connects the Community
Written by: Ellery Schaffer, PE; Jewell Associates Engineers
The Beloit Powerhouse Riverwalk serves as an important connection providing access for students, faculty, and community members. Jewell Associates Engineers, Inc. and R.H. Batterman & Company, Inc. were contracted by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the City of Beloit to provide system linkage between an existing shared use pathway system and the decommissioned Blackhawk powerplant, which is the new home of the Beloit College Union: The Powerhouse. The existing facilities in the section of the shared use pathway system did not provide appropriate traveled widths or clear zones and was adjacent to the busy Pleasant Street/US 51, creating a safety issue for users.
The project consisted of a shared use path beginning approximately 100 feet south of the Powerhouse, parallel to the Rock River along the Powerhouse. This new pedestrian/bicycle structure was designed along the Powerhouse to move users away from the busy street. The project tied into existing facilities 100 feet south of the Powerhouse, continued along the west side of the Powerhouse via a pedestrian bridge, and connected into existing facilities to the north. The approximate length of the shared use pathway is 850 feet.
The Jewell Associates Engineers, Inc. and Batterman design teams contributed many different aspects to the Beloit Powerhouse Riverwalk in the City of Beloit. The team provided an original application of engineering techniques specific for the pathway. Future value to the engineering profession and public perception was added by constructing a unique, cost-effective pathway to increase pedestrian safety. Social, economic, and sustainable designs were considered throughout the project to benefit the community and surrounding area though the connection of downtown Beloit and Riverside Park. The complexity of the project due to alignment constraints and the limited river access was addressed and solved. The client’s needs were met with satisfaction due to extensive coordination while implementing cost-saving measures, minimizing impacts, and being aesthetically minded to the environmental surroundings.
Overall, the project was successful as it achieved the goals of providing a safer and more reliable pathway for students, faculty, and community members, while implementing cost-saving measures, minimizing impacts, and being aesthetically minded to the environmental surroundings.
About the Guest Blogger
Ellery Schaffer, PE, is a senior project manager at Jewell Associates. He has over 17 years of experience in the design of roadways and bridges. He oversees the transportation department as well as serves as a Vice President of Jewell.
Jewell Associates Engineers Inc. is a professional engineering, architecture and surveying company based in Spring Green, Madison, and Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Over the years, our company has grown to become a leading regional provider of transportation design, civil and structural engineering services, and architecture.
R.H. Batterman & Co. Inc. (Batterman) is an engineering, surveying, and planning firm. Batterman’s firm has evolved to provide a wide range of services, including civil engineering, land surveying, urban planning and design, landscape design, grant writing, capital improvement plans, and project management. Batterman continues to invest in leading-edge technologies and continuing education opportunities to enhance the skills and knowledge of our professional and technical staff.