Safer and more efficient
The STH 47 (Richmond Street) project was completed to provide a long-term solution to improve the overall safety and operations of the of the CTH OO (Northland Avenue) intersection in the City of Appleton, Wis. The project also included improvements to the CTH OO intersection at the Mason Street intersection west of STH 47, and improvements to the two signalized intersections between Mason Street and STH 47.
The design involved the construction of a roundabout at the STH 47/CTH OO intersection, which provided long-term solutions to existing, substandard conditions. The roundabout also saved $2 million in real estate costs over the traffic signal alternative by avoiding the acquisition of adjacent businesses—all the while maintaining acceptable access to them.
Although the construction schedule for the project was aggressive, requiring complete closure of the STH 47/CTH OO intersection for 75 days, traffic control costs as well as construction costs were greatly reduced and a safe working environment was created.
Aesthetically pleasing, with room to grow
As a result of the reduced traffic during the intersection closure, other work on CTH OO was able to be completed with minimal traffic impacts: Outagamie County completed pavement overlay east of the intersection, the Mason Street intersection was reconstructed, traffic signals were added to three intersections on CTH OO west of STH 47 and signing and pavement markings were placed along CTH OO and STH 47.
The new roundabout provided the best solution to improve safety, provide adequate operations and minimize real estate impacts. It also allows for the potential to add a third through lane along CTH OO if future traffic demands increase.
Landscaping was added to the median along CTH OO as well as within the roundabout circle. In addition to improved aesthetics—these enhancements, when mature, will encourage drivers to reduce their speed even more, providing additional safety.
During the vetting process, several parcels were identified to potentially house hazardous materials. Due to the reduction of the construction footprint that the roundabout provided, all but one of these parcels were avoided, saving several thousand dollars in remediation costs. The project also allowed a private utility to remove an abandoned gas main that contained asbestos.
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Kevin J. Ruhland, PE
Vice President, Mobility Service Line Lead