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STH 32 - Port Washington, Wisconsin

Awarded "2004 Best Consultant Rural Design, Statewide Excellence in Highway Design," Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation

STH 32STH 32 in the towns of Port Washington and Grafton provides a critical link to I-43 and Milwaukee from the City of Port Washington. The existing four-lane facility exhibited major safety and ride issues. Rear-end collisions and fatalities occurred as the result of left-turning vehicles that were stopped partially in the narrow paved median on this high speed 55 mph highway.

The existing overlaid pavement structure had been plagued with concrete slab heaving due to the prevalence of moisture sensitive clay/silt soils, especially during freeze/thaw cycles. The pavement ride was so rough that travelers, especially ambulances carrying patients, would avoid the highway altogether, and opt for a much longer route to their destination.

Services provided to Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation included topographical survey, environmental coordination and documentation, design engineering, and plat preparation services for this $8.4 million, 2.7-mile reconstruction project.

The project involved reconstructing the facility to a divided 4-lane hybrid rural/urban roadway with a raised (grassed) 30-foot median and 10-foot outside shoulders (8-foot paved) for a majority of the project length. Solutions were designed for several challenging aspects of the project.

  • An unsafe, obsolete, narrow six-foot painted center median was replaced with a 30-foot center median and protected left turn lanes.
  • A paved outside shoulder was constructed throughout the corridor length for right turns and to accommodate bicycles.
  • The unsafe, obsolete interchange at County Highway LL was reconstructed and replaced with a modern four-legged intersection.
  • Ulao Parkway was realigned for better sight distance because of the severely skewed angle at which it intersects Highway 32.
  • The east frontage road at the south end of the project was realigned to provide a safer connection to Highway 32 and to provide adequate separation from the Highway 32 roadway, reducing the risk of head-on collisions from errant vehicles.
  • Wetland impacts were reduced by 22% by using a hybrid “suburban typical roadway cross-section.”



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