The Pleasant Prairie Park & Ride Lot in Kenosha County, Wis., has received a Project of the Year award from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA). The project team led by R.A. Smith National, a multi-disciplined civil engineering and surveying firm in Brookfield, Wis., along with the Village of Pleasant Prairie and Willkomm Excavating & Grading, was recognized at an awards banquet on May 14, 2015, during the association’s annual conference.
Above: A pedestrian bridge carries foot traffic from the park and ride lot to the RecPlex.
The Village of Pleasant Prairie envisioned a multi-use parking facility designed to meet commuter needs during the week and provide weekend event parking for the RecPlex, which is the largest municipally owned recreation facility in the United States. High attendance levels at the RecPlex (2,750 daily average visitors, with up to 10,000 for tournaments and triathlons) created an extremely high demand for additional parking. This need was coupled with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s desire and funding for a park and ride lot in Kenosha County. R.A. Smith National developed a design that expanded the RecPlex campus by providing functional and visual connections with the new parking lot. The design included 388 parking spaces, a pedestrian path with bridge over the creek, access driveway with a bridge, storm sewer and a wet detention pond. Village of Pleasant Prairie construction crews constructed the two bridges.
Above: Bridge construction by Village Public Works crew kept the project on schedule.
The award-winning project faced a number of challenges, including: inhibited access to the site due to a creek, wetlands, railroad and highway embankment; a tight construction schedule; and a single cost-prohibitive bid on access bridges. Innovative construction techniques, such as using a material conveyor rather than building a temporary crossing that avoided environmental disturbance, by the Village kept the project on schedule. The project used a three-sided, precast concrete bridge structure (Conspan) that does not require periodic inspections and maintenance as would a traditional clear-span bridge. Additionally, many design alternatives and significant care minimized the impact to wetlands and reduced the overall construction footprint.