“Dream City,” U.S.A.
The City of Marshfield, Wis., has been designated as one of the country’s “dream cities.” It’s no surprise that city and business officials knew how to seize the opportunity for the reconstruction of their beloved main street. They wanted to “reclaim Central Avenue,” restoring the historic central business district while improving pedestrian safety and encouraging resident interaction—and they wanted to do it in style. MSA Professional Services joined this inspired team and went to work efficiently and collaboratively transforming the 1.35-mile, four-lane urban roadway.
Restoring a community streetscape
What kicked off the project was the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s decision to relocate State Trunk Highway 13 (STH 13), thereby transferring ownership of South Central Avenue back to the City. MSA was selected for the project by the DOT and worked to complete the project one year ahead of schedule and within a single construction season. This not only reduced the City’s expense, but addressed the rapidly deteriorating condition of the existing street. Together, the project made best-use of resources in order to provide an attractive, efficient, safe new streetscape. This was achieved by the following:
- Conducting an extensive public involvement plan for businesses and residents
- Staging construction to reduce the project’s impact on the community
- Salvaging existing storm sewer systems to save the City money
- Constructing a stormwater diversion structure to provide an opportunity for future stormwater quality improvements
Moving forward, in style
A portion of the downtown segment was completed early in the project and quickly attracted an increase in public support for the balance of the construction season. Business access was provided throughout the project and a special campaign told shoppers where to park in lots named after railroads, hearkening back to the city’s past and serving as an inspiration to move the project forward and restore that historic character. Now Marshfield, this “dream city,” has a renovated downtown worthy of that designation.