WIS Interchange 26

Posted By: Brad Halvensleben ACEC WI News, Awards,

2024 Engineering Excellence Best of State

Entering Firm: KL Engineering Inc.
Client: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

The WIS 26 interchange with I-39/90 faced significant challenges due to aging infrastructure and escalating traffic demands. Deteriorating pavement and safety concerns from overuse meant this was a high priority for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to correct.

Modern Design Solutions for Growing Traffic Problems

The design challenge of this vital interchange was undertaken by KL Engineering. The team replaced an outdated rural cloverleaf design with the state’s third Diverging Diamond Interchange. This new design avoids traffic backing up at intersections and mitigates dangerous crashes. WIS 26 was expanded to six lanes and I-39/90 was expanded to 12, part of the state’s overall traffic modernization.

The design team worked closely with the client and local stakeholders to minimize disruptions during the extensive construction schedule. The project maintained two lanes of traffic in each direction throughout construction which was a huge relief to locals.

Awards judge Josh Pachniak said “The WIS 26 interchange project is a great showcase of engineering ingenuity. The expansion of I-39/90 required numerous retaining walls and bridge structures to minimize right of way impacts while including the innovating diverging diamond interchange design at WIS 26. These improvements improve safety by reducing conflict points within the interchange footprint and increasing traffic operations on these vital Wisconsin roadways.”

Keep Wisconsin Moving

The completed WIS 26 Interchange project stands as a testament to engineering excellence, community empowerment, and transformative design. This safe, visually pleasing and sustainable multi-modal facility doubled the traffic capacity of I-39/90. The design team’s contributions ensure these vital transportation corridors will continue to serve as lifelines of connectivity and prosperity for generations, embodying a legacy of innovation and positive impact.

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