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R.A. Smith National, Inc. Knowledge Blog

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.


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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





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Technology Drives Traffic Count Efficiencies

by Pat Hawley 13. June 2012 05:13

Newer technology is driving efficiencies in the traffic count process. R.A. Smith National recently used a Miovision video camera to complete traffic counts for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation at several roadway intersections for the alternate route evaluation of the I-39 corridor project in the city of Janesville, Wisconsin, and surrounding areas.

The use of Miovision provides cost and time efficiencies (especially in remote locations where significant travel time savings can be achieved), by allowing one field person to collect data at several intersections.

Here’s how it works. The Miovision video camera is set up at an intersection to record all vehicles travelling through the intersection.  After the count is complete, the digital video is uploaded to Miovision. The Miovision software identifies, counts and records all vehicles traveling through the intersection (within 98% accuracy), and a traffic count report is then downloaded back to R.A. Smith National. 





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