WIS 26 Improvement, Rehabilitation Fond du Lac County, WI

There were stretches in the 16 miles of WIS 26 in Fond du Lac County, Wis. that were outright treacherous.

In the midst of the re-design of WIS 26 a fatality occurred in a confusing bypass lane that looked like a passing lane near an intersection with Willow Creek Road. Two other fatalities and injuries previously occurred in the same proximity. And there was a highway section that drivers go up a hill that is also a curve – “a horizontal curve in a vertical curve.” The obvious safety factors demanded improvement of the rural, two-lane highway. In addition, there were stormwater drainage problems. Due to the safety issues, the design deadline was expedited to one year earlier.

Holding experience on a very similar project in the northeast of the county, raSmith improved the substandard geometrics, realigned the horizontal and vertical curves, added right- and left-turn lanes at the intersection and realigned the side road. The stormwater plan did not change existing drainage patterns or runoff amounts while meeting stormwater quality requirements. A five-foot paved shoulder was added for accommodating bicycles. And a right-of-way plat was created for the southern portion of the project.