On the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus, an area known as the Southwest Precinct was served by a moderately steep, S-shaped entrance road. This single point of entrance for all vehicular traffic to the Precinct had such sharp turns that semi trucks delivering goods to the cafeteria had unsafe sightlines and difficulty maneuvering around the bends. In addition, the original footpath to the parking lot was not strategically located, and students walked down the steep side-slope of the hill and crossed the roadway mid-block to the parking lot.
The State of Wisconsin Division of Facilities Development and Management (DFDM), a long-time customer of OES’s Madison office, retained OES to design improvements to the main driveway entrance to accommodate trucks, improve pedestrian safety, install storm sewer elements, and improve lighting for the entrance and pedestrian pathway.
OES designed a realigned entrance to accommodate the turning movements of large semi-tractor/trailers turning into and exiting from the Southwest Precinct. OES designers worked through utility conflicts and the challenges created by the steep terrain along to Southwest Road, the connecting roadway. Since the entrance was the only vehicular access point to the Southwest Precinct, traffic and deliveries needed to be moved to a pedestrian sidewalk that was converted to a mixed use pathway while the entrance was under construction. OES designed a wider entrance with curb and gutter and storm sewer to provide a great ease of access for vehicles and pedestrians using the entrance.
OES developed four separate alternatives for the pedestrian path to the student parking lot. The selected alternative path allows pedestrians to remain on the same side of the roadway as the dormitory and connects to the existing pedestrian pathway prior to crossing Southwest Road—a similar path that had been worn into the hillside slope by pedestrians before this project.
As Southwest Road is a non-controlled roadway, OES’s design included the installation of rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs) at the crossing to notify motorists of pedestrians. The RRFBs are motion-activated, with a push button backup activation.
The project included a maintenance path to the walkway and stairs to make it easier to clear snow and a maintenance pull-off area adjacent to Southwest Hall.
The project included updated LED lighting and native seeding along the side slopes for an appealing view with flowering plants from spring to fall.
OES also provided construction oversight of the project.