Lakeside Interceptor | Duluth, MN

State Street, Kronenwetter projects earn APWA awards

Posted on 05/06/2016 7:11 AM

The American Pubic Works Association - Wisconsin presented two Project of the Year awards to MSA-designed projects.
The American Pubic Works Association - Wisconsin presented two Project of the Year awards to MSA-designed projects.

The American Public Works Association–Wisconsin Chapter recently presented two Project of the Year Awards to MSA-designed projects at its Spring Conference in Stevens Point, WI.

One award was presented to the City of Madison, MSA, and Speedway Sand & Gravel, Inc. for the reconstruction of State Street/Library Mall

The second award, designated for Small Cities/Rural Communities, was presented to the Village of Kronenwetter, MSA, and James Peterson Sons, Inc., Medford, for the Village’s Stormwater & Groundwater Improvements project. The Village approved a nontraditional special assessment policy to resolve issues caused by flooding.

MSA personnel were on hand at the conference to receive the awards, present on bidding and traffic issues and man MSA's booth. (Pictured from left to right are; Jason DiPiazza, Dan Borchardt, Teresa Anderson, Randy Herwig, Jaime Kurten, Eric Thompson, Brad Reents, Kevin Ruhland and Al Geurts.)

State Street-Library Mall Award

For more than a decade, the City has directed the transformation of the famed State Street, a couple of blocks at a time, to meet the City’s modern needs. 

The final segment, which is the recipient of the APWA’s award, is perhaps the most iconic: two city blocks within the City of Madison where State Street meets the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW).


All project stakeholders focused on creating a space that continues the site’s legacy as an important destination, while servicing the evolving needs of its users. 

The City of Madison emphasized that the design must be timeless, flexible, durable, and easy to maintain. These needs served as the core design principles for this project.

Public Outreach

A series of outreach meetings and feedback outlets were used to develop the new design for the site. This outreach included public meetings, individual meetings with key stakeholders, and feedback outlets, such as the informative and often entertaining chalkboard message boards.


The resulting design includes a balance of destination space for large and small groups, increased and improved seating opportunities, and a wider throughway to accommodate emergency vehicles, food carts, and the high volume of pedestrians and bicyclists. 

The design centers on the confluence of East Campus Mall, the 700 and 800 blocks of State Street, and Library Mall. Views to adjacent landmarks such as the Capitol, Bascom Hill, and Lake Mendota, have been opened up and primary traffic corridors expanded. 

Sustainable Features


Throughout the site, amenities and materials were selected that were durable, long-lasting, and easy to maintain. Plantings throughout the site were selected to be low maintenance and able to withstand the area’s heavy foot traffic. Use of sustainable elements included a drinking fountain equipped with a water bottle filler, LED lighting that provides more light with less energy than the previous lighting system, and structural sidewalk tree vaults to enhance the growing conditions for all the new trees. 


The project design team also included landscape architects with Ken Saiki Design and Smith Group JJR, environment designers from ZD Studios, lighting designers from KJWW, and artist Jill Sebastian. Speedway Sand and Gravel was the prime contractor on the project.


For more information, contact Jason DiPiazza, PE.

Kronenwetter Stormwater & Groundwater Improvements

The Village desired a long-term solution to solve its flooding issues. In 2011, the community’s challenges came to a head when it experienced record snowmelt conditions followed by heavy rains. As a result, the basements of more than 20 homes flooded. 

The Village responded to the high groundwater elevations by initiating an emergency groundwater pumping program to lower local water tables. The program lasted three months and cost nearly $30,000.

The Village turned to MSA in January 2012 to complete a groundwater modeling study for the purpose of recommending a permanent passive groundwater drainage system.

Special Assessment Policy

The Village lacked the funding needed to move forward with the project, so MSA proposed a nontraditional approach. The Village agreed to implement a special assessment policy for the improvements. 

The new special assessment features a unique assessment methodology to finance the groundwater and stormwater improvements with a project cost of $567,500.

Property owners can be assessed for stormwater, groundwater and stormwater, or just groundwater. After all of the costs were calculated, the Village agreed to pay for 55% of the project cost and the property owners are paying for the remaining 45% of the costs.

The methodology was based primarily on the benefits a property owner would gain through lowering the groundwater table. 

In addition, the assessment also was designed to reflect the amount of water contributed from the residence to the stormwater-shed area.

The project, as designed by MSA, flows by gravity through a perforated storm sewer to convey groundwater away from the problem area. Flows into the storm sewer system are controlled by a set of gates so that a balance between groundwater levels, predicted precipitation, and storm sewer flows can be controlled by the Village.

Zoning Revised

In addition, MSA worked with the Village to revise its Building and Zoning Ordinance to prevent future development from experiencing groundwater fluctuations that would impact residential basements.

Now when the groundwater levels are high in the Village, there’s a process in place for handling the issue. Staff are able to control the flows into the storm sewer system through a set of gates that balance groundwater levels and predicted precipitation. 

The homes in the area have returned to their assessed values and are marketable again.

For more information, contact Dan Borchardt, PE.




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