USH 12 (Madison Beltline)

Wisconsin Department of Transportation | Madison, WI
A photo of the Madison Beltway from above with traffic

As the Wisconsin Department of Transportation prepared to upgrade the Madison Beltline between Whitney Way and IH39, they turned to Benesch to conduct a Value Engineering Study.

The existing six-lane freeway with auxiliary lanes sees 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. Four of the six proposals were related to construction methods and Maintenance of Traffic. These included the use of queue length as a performance metric and the impact of removal of a movable concrete barrier from the scope of work. One of the proposals was estimated to save 74 days, or approximately 20% of the project’s construction duration.

In all, 80% of the proposals were accepted and implemented into the project’s development.

Practice Areas


  • 2023, Alphonse J. Dell’Isola Outstanding Accomplishment, SAVE International