Waukesha Bypass, USH 18
2021 Engineering Excellence State Finalist
Entering Firm: Bloom Companies LLC
Client: Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Owner: Waukesha County
The Waukesha Bypass was a project long in the making. Growing traffic volumes and an appreciation of future growth prompted WisDOT and Waukesha County to first start looking at options 40 years ago. There were many involved parties and transportation complexities that made the project a major undertaking.
Bloom Companies knew that the first place to start was with the various stakeholders. Local roads were a tangle of different turn lanes and driveways which increased crash rates and slowed down traffic. The design team met with residents and businesses to determine their needs. Driveways were consolidated and nearly three miles of roads were realigned. This allows motorists to maintain speed and reduce traffic jams. The new corridor has four lanes, a wide median and modern bike and pedestrian protections.
The design team faced environmental concerns as well. Waukesha is home to unique glacial wetlands requirement protection while providing room for urban expansion. An environmentally sensitive part of the roadway was narrowed the team worked closely with Wisconsin DNR to minimize additional impacts.
Through the careful work of the design team, a 40-year goal was finally realized. The new bypass accommodates a rapidly growing community and provides future projects with a blueprint on how to accomplish difficult designs.