Wisconsin Dells is well known for its tourism. It’s the self-proclaimed “waterpark capital of the world.” Shutting down USH 12 in Lake Delton, Wis., a major transportation arterial from I-94 to prime attractions and resorts, just couldn’t happen.
Keeping tourism traffic moving meant 2.4 miles of four-lane construction switched lanes from summer to off-season (September to early June). Additional challenges included re-decking the Dell Creek Bridge and realigning five miles of frontage roads and back roads to improve safety. Adding to the engineering design needs was accommodating multi-modal transportation with sidewalks, bike lanes, pedestrian paths, kiosks, decorative street lighting and other aesthetic amenities. A Type II environmental report was also required.
Construction was completed in phases and spread over eight years to minimize disruption. Regular weekly meetings and open lines of communication with local businesses and impacted property owners were essential to the project’s success.