MILWAUKEE, WI – A creative ‘shared street’ project designed by Benesch in the heart of downtown Milwaukee has earned a 2022 ACEC-WI State Finalist Award, an honor that recognizes exceptional ideas and innovations in engineering. The N. 2nd Street rehabilitation, from Wells Street to Wisconsin Avenue, dramatically improved the area’s function and aesthetic and is the first application of the shared street concept for the city in an urban center.
Key design elements included improving pedestrian safety with an innovative curbless one-way street; visual cues for traffic calming; and public furniture such as combined benches and planter boxes. A Value Planning workshop at the onset of the project was also integral to identifying key functions of the project and the development of design guidelines to create a vibrant corridor.
“The timing of this project was also purposely aligned with the reopening of the newly renovated Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s (MSO) Bradley Symphony Center and an expected increase in pedestrian traffic,” said Benesch Project Manager Amanda Zacharias. “A key element of the design included a creative trench drain system to channel storm water away from the new MSO outer doors.”
Now open to the public, this newly rehabilitated corridor provides a safer, more visually appealing public space for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike, while complementing the area’s natural surrounding environment and facilities.