Thackeray Trail Undergoes Successful Urban Reconstruction
Written by Ryan Wallace, PE, Baxter & Woodman
The City of Oconomowoc's Thackeray Trail Reconstruction project involved transforming a rural roadway to an urban, curbed street with a new stormwater displacement system and sidewalks to address resident concerns.
Addressing Project Challenges
A key engineering challenge was creating a storm sewer system to manage off-site water drainage in a limited space. This needed to be done without causing issues with the existing sewer and water systems or causing flooding. Additionally, the city wanted to clean the stormwater before releasing it into a nearby wetland. To solve these problems, a dual-main storm sewer system and a 1-acre clay-lined wet detention basin were designed. This not only managed the water but also protected the environment.
The project also addressed pedestrian safety concerns by constructing concrete sidewalks on both sides of the new roadway and a raised midblock bump-out crosswalk to provide safer access to Whitman Hills Park. The addition of the bump-out crosswalk reduced vehicular speeds, decreased the crosswalk traverse, and increased pedestrian visibility, making the area safer for pedestrians.
New water main was installed to replace the existing severely corroded piping. This much-needed upgrade to the water system helps reduce the risks of water main breakage.
Promoting Communication & Collaboration Through Public Outreach
Effective communication and collaboration between the design and construction engineering teams, the City officials, and the local community was critical to the project's success.
Delivering Project Services in a Timely Manner
Efficient design work met client deadlines, while construction coped with weather delays, completing the project within budget and on time. Baxter & Woodman expedited the design to meet the required timeline. Short Elliott Hendrickson kept construction progress moving along especially when dealing with multiple days of poor weather. The project was designed and constructed under budget and on schedule even with a delayed finish due to issues with existing utilities.
- Reduced flood risks benefits homeowners and the community.
- The new through street and sidewalks promote safe access for vehicles and pedestrians to nearby schools, parks, and businesses, improving the quality of life for area residents and promoting economic growth.
- 150 new trees line the reconstructed street.
This project serves as a model for future infrastructure improvements and highlights the importance of communication and collaboration for lasting positive impacts on the community.
Baxter & Woodman served as prime design consultant for roadway, storm sewer, and water main engineering services, and Short Elliott Hendrickson served as prime consultant for construction engineering services for the 0.75-mile urban reconstruction and rehabilitation project.
About the Guest Blogger
Ryan Wallace, PE is Assistant Department Manager of Baxter & Woodman’s Wisconsin Transportation Department and served as Project Design Manager for Oconomowoc’s Thackeray Trail Reconstruction project. Baxter & Woodman, Inc. has been providing innovative civil and environmental engineering solutions to clients since 1946.