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 redesign 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 where roadway users would drive up a curving hill – “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.