Pheasant Branch Creek Trail & Bridge Revival

Posted By: Raine Gardner ACEC WI News, Awards,

2024 Engineering Excellence State Finalist

Entering Firm: MSA Professional Services Inc.
Client: City of Middleton

Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor Trail is a cherished route in Middleton. A historic rain event resulted in substantial flooding, wreaking havoc on streambanks, pedestrian bridges and trail segments. Repairs necessitated restoring what was lost and providing a foundation against future climate challenges.

MSA Professional Services took charge, providing design engineering for the intricate reconstruction project, with a focus on the trail and six pedestrian bridges. Extensive evaluations revealed compromised bridge foundations. The design solution involved new steel helical pile foundations topped with reinforced concrete abutments. This enhanced the resilience of the bridges. The new bridges are raised against the possibility of future flooding events and will stand up better to these catastrophic events.

The rebuilt pedestrian trail was redesigned concurrently with creek restoration to fortify the corridor and enhance accessibility. Realignment reduced blind corners, established an ADA-compliant grade, and improved drainage. A wider trail design accommodates an increase in trail users and is robust enough to serve municipal vehicles.

The Pheasant Branch Creek restoration revitalized what was lost and gives the corridor a more sustainable, resilient future. The new trail delights users and connects a growing city with a beautiful natural environment.

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