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R.A. Smith National, Inc. Knowledge Blog

Navigating Through Work Zones

by Benjie Hayek 13. August 2014 04:11

Road construction is in full swing and it seems everywhere you look there’s a sea of orange barrels, lanes closures and heavy equipment. There are currently 26 Wisconsin Department of Transportation projects spread over the interstates, major highways, freeways and rural state roadways in the southeastern region of the state alone. Major reconstruction projects span miles of roadway and you should know some helpful tips to successfully navigate these work zones.

#1. Pre-plan your travel. 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has developed Construction 511 for up-to-date construction information. 

Here you can check out:

  • Real-time travel information including closures, incidents, travel times and more
  • Project news including schedules, updates, maps and project publications
  • Project images and videos
  • Resource information, business toolkits, transportation options and FAQs

#2. Safely enter and leave a work zone.

  • Read and obey the advanced warning signs, especially when travel lanes are reduced
  • Do not wait until the last second to move over for a lane closure – most accidents happen at this point
  • Do not speed – (fines double in work zones!)
  • Follow posted detour routes and signs
  • Watch for construction vehicles entering and leaving work zones
  • Be focused, patient and courteous
  • Do not speed when you see the “End Construction” sign

Just remember, road construction is only an inconvenience for a little while, whereas the new bridges, interchanges and roadway enhancements will last a long time to come. Drive safe and informed!


Funding Infiltration & Inflow (I & I) Reduction on Private Property

by Chris Stamborski 23. July 2014 03:44

Private property is a major source of infiltration/inflow (I & I) entering into dedicated wastewater or sanitary sewer systems. Various efforts are underway in Wisconsin, and nationwide, to not only identify these sources, but develop remedies to reduce the amount of flow entering these systems. An important aspect of these efforts is providing financial assistance to local government for investigation and installation of best management practices. This article will explore some of the ways in which this type of work is either currently being funded, or may be funded, in the future.

In southeast Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) developed a program in 2011 titled “2010-2020 Private Property Inflow and Infiltration Reduction Program.” The program is focused on developing and implementing remedies for I & I from private property sources to reduce the amount of flow that must be stored, conveyed and treated by MMSD.

The MMSD has $62 million budgeted for communities within the district over the 10-year period of the program. Each community is allocated funds based on their proportionate share of billings to the MMSD.  Each community may spend up to 20% of their allocation on investigative activities, with the balance of the funds going towards the implementation of a project. It is important to understand that the actual amount allocated and dispersed to eligible communities is dependent each year on the District’s annual budgeting process and inter-municipal agreements set up prior to the start of any defined project. 

The following tasks (to be completed on private property only) are eligible under MMSD’s program.

  • Disconnection of foundation drains from sanitary sewer
  • Installation of sump pumps related to above foundation drain disconnection
  • Replacement of deteriorated lateral sewers
  • Rehabilitation of deteriorated lateral sewers (i.e. CIPP lining, etc.)
  • Complete disconnection of laterals
  • Installation of privately owned storm laterals to convey stormwater
  • Inspection/investigation costs (i.e. dye testing, CCTV and flow monitoring)
  • Professional services--planning/design, preparation of bidding documents, direct project management
  • Construction inspection costs
  • Public education and outreach

Upon adoption of rule revisions anticipated in spring of 2015, the Clean Water Fund will be another resource for financial assistance for Wisconsin local units of government and sanitary districts for lateral lining work on private property. Lateral lining work on private property is considered an eligible activity under the Clean Water Fund if certain legal requirements are met. If a local unit of government or sanitary district and the homeowner(s) enters into a “limited scope maintenance easement,” the local government is allowed to assume legal rights to reline the private lateral, and thereby, be eligible for Clean Water Fund assistance. The financial assistance would be in the form of a reduced interest loan, or in the case of a municipality meeting financial hardship criteria, a grant.

R.A. Smith National has provided assistance to 22 local governments in Wisconsin, including several utility districts, with either a limited, or comprehensive, sanitary sewer evaluation study (SSES). We serve many of our clients on an ongoing basis as they have repeatedly contracted with R.A. Smith National for a continuum of services.

More Information
Visit our SSES web page to find out more about our SSES services. For more information or to discuss a project need, contact Chris Stamborski, P.E., assistant director of municipal services, at 262-317-3337.

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