STH 16 in La Crosse

Posted By: Amanda Zacharias ACEC WI News, Awards,

2024 Engineering Excellence State Finalist

Entering Firm: Benesch
Client: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

STH 16 is a major east/west connector in La Crosse. This one-mile stretch, flanking University of Wisconsin campus, serves diverse users and essential traffic. It faced severe pavement deterioration, outdated utilities and safety concerns. Emergency services had a hard time navigating the corridor, impacting reliability and response times.

Benesch saw an opportunity for transformative redevelopment. Integrating tried-and-true safety measures with creative traffic calming and sustainability practices, the project team navigated unique physical constraints. The new streetscape incorporates a curbed median, serving both as a traffic calming measure and a platform for sustainability initiatives.

Sustainable median biocells were introduced to enhance water quality by reducing stormwater runoff. Intersection corner bump-outs further expanded biocell areas, aligning with the city's system-wide goals for total suspended solids reduction.

Early and ongoing engagement with stakeholders played a crucial role in shaping the vision for La Crosse Street. A carefully crafted construction sequencing plan preserved access to major traffic generators and adjacent properties, ensuring the success of the project. Emergency services were able to access the area throughout construction. STH 16 is a model of connectivity and sustainability, embodying the collaborative vision of a thriving urban corridor.

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