USH 53/STH 35 Interchange at IH 90

Awards ,

2019 Engineering Excellence Award | State Finalist

Entering Firm: Ayres Associates Inc.
Client: Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Category: Transportation


In southwestern Wisconsin, several major highways intersect in a major interchange with Interstate 90. This corridor is extremely important for residents and visitors in the region but the infrastructure has not kept up with demand. It was vitally important to update the interchange and to keep pace with population growth.

Ayres Associates crafted a design that would keep pace with growth and last for 50 years. Part of this effort involved moving the nearby highway system to be above a 100-year flood event. This update allowed the design team to create a multimodal system that facilitates movement between nearby parks on the river. The interstate itself received a facelift: a viewing area for bald eagles was incorporated and the bridge structure reflects the natural beauty of the Mississippi river below. The bridge deck uses fiber reinforcement polymer to reduce maintenance costs and extend the lifespan. All these changes were complicated by strict environmental standards and the complexity of working with a wide variety of stakeholders in the immediate vicinity.

The team delivered a new interchange and approaches that substantially improve the quality of life in southwestern Wisconsin. In addition to safe and efficient travel, the public can use the multimodal paths to enjoy the river and have easy access to nearby cities. The long lifespan of the new design ensures that these benefits will flow for many years.

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