Madison Beltline Value Engineering Study Recognized by SAVE International

Awards, Projects | July 05, 2023


A photo of the Madison Beltway from above with traffic

MADISON, WI – As the Wisconsin Department of Transportation was preparing to upgrade the Madison Beltline between Whitney Way and IH39, they turned to Benesch to conduct a time and cost saving Value Engineering Study. The study not only accomplished those goals, but it was also recognized by SAVE International, the premier international society devoted to advancing and promoting Value Methodology.

“It’s great to have our work on this fairly unique project recognized by SAVE,” said Amanda Zacharias. “Typically, the effectiveness of VE studies is best expressed in terms of dollars, but for this project we also looked heavily into time savings. One of our proposals alone would save 74 days, which is 20% of the project duration.”

The existing six-lane freeway with auxiliary lanes saw an average of over 120,000 vehicles per day. With deteriorating pavement, storm water spreading into travel lanes and a Level of Service (LOS) of F during morning and evening peak hours, the corridor needed improvements. The project called for a Dynamic Part Time Shoulder Use (DPTSU) lane on the inside shoulder in both directions to improve the Level of Service during the peak hours.

A blended team of WisDOT and Benesch engineers participated in the VE study of the project when it was at the 60% design stage, which allowed for alternative concepts to be developed for construction staging and schedule, as well as modifications to the As Given concept. The goal of the week-long study was to manage potential change orders and impacts to motorists using the highway during construction.

Benesch developed six proposals, three of which were evaluated in saved construction time rather than dollars. Eighty percent of the proposals were accepted and implemented into the project’s development.

The project earned the Alphonse J. Dell’Isola Outstanding Accomplishment in Construction award from SAVE International and was honored at the virtual 2023 Value Summit in June.