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STH 69 Wins WisDOT’s Best Rural Design by a Consultant Award

aerial view of road with roundabout in small town
JT Engineering revitalized STH 69 from Belleville to Verona in Dane County, addressing safety, traffic, and environmental challenges. With a focus on stakeholder collaboration, they upgraded intersections, aligned roadways, and preserved archaeological sites. The design mitigated flooding through realignment, elevated profiles, and drainage structures, resulting in a resilient and modern roadway.

With the existing roadway pavement severely compromised from heavy traffic and devastating frequent flooding events, STH 69 had truly earned its reputation as “the worst road in Wisconsin” as designated by WKOW Channel 27 News in Madison. The design team stepped up to the plate to transform STH 69 into a modern roadway corridor that minimized environmental impacts and enhanced safety and performance for all stakeholders.

Located along the Sugar River, STH 69 was prone to flooding events, including a segment north of Paoli that had overtopped and flooded three times in a two-year span. Safety was also a major concern, as numerous intersections were poorly aligned with sharp angles, roadway alignments contained substandard curves that severely limited sight distance, and curb ramps within the Village of Belleville were outdated from current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

With more than 20 archaeological sites, numerous historic properties, significant swaths of existing parkland, and hazardous material sites identified throughout the corridor, it was imperative to design the modernized highway with sensitivity to these critical environmental constraints.

While the project was in design, JT maintained regular communication with residents, local officials, the Dane County Parks Department, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and other stakeholders to keep them informed of the updates occurring on the roadway.

The design team worked with the Dane County Parks Department to incorporate design features, such as parking areas, walking paths, and kayak launches, to mitigate the project’s parkland impacts. JT also proactively collaborated with the Wisconsin DNR to coordinate closure needs and updated highway connections associated with the Badger State Trail and Ice Age Trail within the project limits.

JT takes pride in keeping this project on schedule while simultaneously satisfying stakeholder needs and incorporating the critical design features this roadway desperately needed. With reduced flooding, updated safety, and enhanced roadway, STH 69 now stands as a robust, resilient roadway, preserving the past and handling the transportation needs of the future.

 

Watch the video to see the award reception:

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