Pioneer Road Reconstruction

Posted By: Steve Schowalter Awards,

2021 Engineering Excellence State Finalist

Entering Firm: GRAEF
Client: Washington County
Owner: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Pioneer Road in Washington County is a vital transportation artery for local businesses and residents. The heavy wear and tear and outdated design increased transit times and safety. Major changes were necessary to address these issues.

GRAEF engineered a dramatic solution. The entire road would be re-profiled to address sharp turns and unnecessary altitude changes. But this change required an additional step – reclassing the town road into a state highway. By upgrading the road, a nearby intersection was changed into a two-way stop instead of four-way and the overall speed limit increased. The new design made this safer while still meeting the county’s goals and improving transit times. The reclassification means that the county will share the maintenance burden with the state, relieving pressure on the local budget.

The type of businesses using this stretch of road created an additional complication. The quarries and asphalt plants in this area need heavy trucks coming and going constantly. The design team reinforced the road to be thicker than average. This will preserve the driving surface longer and reduce maintenance costs for the county moving forward.

Washington County’s newest state highway features a modern design that increases safety and speed.

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