Wisconsin Department of Transportation

West Waukesha Bypass

Waukesha County, WI

After decades of compounding traffic congestion issues from State Trunk Highway (STH) 59 and Highway 164 to I-94, the West Waukesha Bypass in Wisconsin aimed to resolve the problem. It involved a drastic reroute of STH 59 to connect to STH 18 and skirt the western edges of the City of Waukesha, transforming area mobility for numerous residents, businesses, a large high school and other stakeholders.

As the construction management lead on this project, Benesch played a key role in overseeing the project’s successful completion, from weekly progress meetings and environmental protections to concrete testing, aggregate sampling and more. Because the new roadway traversed existing wetlands, forest and farm fields, it required an enormous amount of excavation including marsh and subgrade soils. Over 370,000 tons of select fill material were also required to build the new alignment through these unstable areas.

The new alignment incorporated six new bridge structures and replaced an existing bridge with new twin bridges on a connecting county highway. Given the environmentally sensitive wetlands and fens in the project footprint, the new bridges were critical by spanning across those areas. Other structures included multiple retaining, MSE, and post and panel walls, as well as two box culverts – one of which carries a trail beneath the new roadway.

Additional project elements included stakeholder coordination and communication, schedule management, material documentation and more.

Project highlights

  • Coordination with residential, agricultural and business stakeholders and a large high school
  • Multi-use path along the corridor and a pedestrian box culvert for regional trail system
  • Drastic realignment to reduce traffic congestion
  • Six new bridges and bridge replacement involving new twin bridges over Pebble Creek
  • Extensive environmental elements due to wetlands and fen areas