Beyond Surveying and Engineering

In Person

R.A. Smith National, Inc. Knowledge Blog

Summer Construction Season in Full Swing: I-94 Freeway Closures Impact Local Street System

by John Bruggeman 6. June 2013 06:43

Recent construction work at the I-94 interchange and Rawson Avenue in southern Milwaukee County required full daytime and nighttime closures of the freeway system as part of the ongoing I-94 North-South project. Many motorists were detoured onto the local street system, utilizing arterials such as STH 241 (27th Street), STH 38 (Howell Avenue), STH 100 (Ryan Road), Drexel Avenue and College Avenue. These traffic impacts required signal timing modifications at several traffic signals along the detour routes to improve detour traffic flow. R.A. Smith National worked with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to anticipate traffic problems at key intersections and made the necessary timing adjustments in advance of the closures. On a recent weekend freeway closure, staff monitored field conditions and made adjustments as traffic demands shifted throughout the duration of the closure. Additional overnight and weekend closures are anticipated throughout the summer. Drivers should stay tuned to local news and online resources such as for the latest roadway closure information.

Tags: , , , , ,


I-94 & Drexel Avenue Interchange is Open!

by John Bruggeman 5. December 2012 09:31

R.A. Smith National’s engineering staff has been busy over the last several years on several projects that contributed to the recent opening of the new I-94 Interchange at Drexel Avenue and reconstructed Drexel Avenue in the City of Oak Creek.  Our transportation and municipal services divisions were pleased to be part of this major effort to spur new development in this area and along nearby arterials such as South 27th Street.  The new interchange is the first one added to the freeway system in Milwaukee County since it was originally built in the 1970s. 

Our traffic division assisted with traffic volume forecasting in the area of the interchange and played a key role in the design of both traffic signals at the I-94 ramps as part of our on-site contracts with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Our municipal services division provided design, ecological and environmental permitting services to the City of Oak Creek for the reconstruction of Drexel Avenue from S. 27th Street to S. 13th Street. That project involved the innovative design of a rammed aggregate pier system to serve as a road base reinforcement for a shallow embankment over a wetland.


Tags: ,

Municipal | Traffic

Why Are Some Left-Turn Arrows Now Flashing Yellow?

by John Bruggeman 11. July 2012 09:26

Have you noticed the flashing yellow left-turn arrows in Wisconsin? They’re popping up at several intersections including 51st Street and Brown Deer Road, village of Brown Deer; USH 18 (Bluemound Road) at Sunny Slope, Elm Grove Road and Underwood Creek Parkway in the city of Brookfield; STH 50 at STH 75/STH 83, town of Salem; I-43 ramps at Good Hope Road, city of Glendale and more.

The flashing yellow left-turn arrow indicates “yield to opposing (oncoming) traffic” as a substitute for the traditional green circular indication for left turns. Researchers have found that the flashing yellow arrow improves driver safety and awareness. Drivers should expect to see more of these in the next few years since the flashing yellow arrow is supported within the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), a design manual published by the Federal Highway Administration.

I was involved in the traffic signal design at 51st and Brown Deer as part of R.A. Smith National’s on-site services at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). This intersection utilizes flashing yellow left-turn arrows on all approaches and was one of the first of its kind in Wisconsin. As part of WisDOT’s Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), the improvements were completed to address historical crash problems at the intersection.

For more information visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s website at





Tags: ,


Powered by BlogEngine.NET