The American Public Works Association Wisconsin Chapter announced recently its juried selection of 2023 Project of the Year Award winners. The City of Onalaska and MSA Professional Services, Inc. (MSA) were together chosen to receive a Project of the Year Award in the Small Cities/Rural Communities – Transportation category for the East Main Street and Green Coulee Roundabout.
Project of the Year Awards recognize outstanding project deliverables as well as strong alliances between the managing agency, consultant engineer, and contractor. Nominations are reviewed by a qualified panel of judges selected by the chapter Awards Committee and appraised on a variety of achievements including meeting community needs, unique accomplishments under adverse conditions, creative use of municipal resources, construction processes, and awareness of environmental preservation.
The East Main Street and Green Coulee Road Roundabout project in the City of Onalaska answers long-standing safety and traffic efficiency concerns with a new two-lane roundabout adjacent to the US 53 interchange. After an increase in congestion and vehicular crashes in recent years, the City recognized a need to reassess intersection options and worked with transportation engineers from MSA to lead the study and design of the project.
The project involved adjoining two existing large dual box culverts with a retaining wall in order to gain 3,200 additional square feet of real estate needed to meet design regulations for the two-lane roundabout while still supporting proper channel flow and capacity for a local stream flowing through the culverts. The local Kwik Trip also donated a portion of land to retain the location of its driveway for the new roundabout, which is an oblong shape approximately 140 feet wide, designed to accommodate the small footprint of space available at the site.
The project was designed by MSA in close coordination with local businesses, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and local residents. The result improves safety and traffic efficiency, reduces vehicular speeds, and implements a number of new pedestrian safety features including accessible two-stage crossings and rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) to facilitate crossings of East Main Street. The roundabout was constructed under traffic and completed in October of 2021, with no injury crashes reported since its opening.
“MSA and the City of Onalaska are truly honored to receive the Project of the Year Award for this important project,” remarked Kevin Ruhland, PE, vice president of the Mobility service line at MSA. “The project provided some unique challenges and creative design solutions. We’re proud to be recognized for the effort, but also proud to help improve safety for the residents and visitors of Onalaska. Thank you to the award panel and congratulations to our fellow award recipients.”
Award winners were formally recognized at the APWA WI 2023 Spring Conference and Awards Banquet in Eau Claire on May 4, 2023.
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