WIS 441 Tri-County Freeway Expansion

Posted By: TJ Dougherty Awards,

2021 Engineering Excellence Best of State

Entering Firm: Tri-County Partners
Client: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Everything about the US 10/I-41/WIS 441 freeway system is big. It is the busiest system in northeastern Wisconsin, carrying over 100,000 cars a day. This stretch covers three counties and its most unique feature is an over 3,000 foot bridge over Little Lake Butte des Mortes. The system was showing its age and needed pavement and structure redesign.

Redesigning A Complex System

To spread the design and construction load on this major project, a joint venture, Tri-County Partners was created. The team identified choke points that decreased safety and increased traffic. These interchanges were redesigned for better traffic flow. The freeway was expanded to six lanes and six separate interchanges were redesigned.

One of the biggest choke points was the bridge over the lake. The team designed a bridge that would sit right next to the existing structure to provide the necessary lane expansion. Construction required additional drainage to secure the footings on uncertain soils and to protect the local environment.

Awards judge Brandon Braithwaite said “This project had a little bit of everything: busy interchange, construction and rehabilitation of numerous bridges, coordination with multiple local agencies, a unique Diverging Diamond Interchange, a multi-model transport network, and even some roundabouts.”

Providing for Wisconsin’s Growing Transportation Needs

The team successfully navigated the extremely complex requirements and delivered a project that meets current and anticipated traffic needs. The new design improves safety and keeps motorists moving. Through careful design and coordination, the project was delivered on-time and $10 million below budget.

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