Madison flooding improvement project earns national award

Waite Circle before and after // Courtesy: City of Madison Engineering Division
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- The City of Madison Engineering Division earned a national award for a flooding improvement project on the city's west side.

The Engineering Division earned the American Public Works Association's Public Works National Small Project of the Year for 2020 for its work on the Southwest Bike Path Culvert at the end of Waite Circle, just east of Middle Boulevard.

In August of 2018, the west side of Madison received over 10 inches of rain in a 12-hour period, causing historic flooding.

In 2019, the city moved from emergency response and repair to widespread infrastructure upgrades. Waite Circle was designated as an immediate upgrade. The city said the community was flooding regularly because of a 2017 emergency fix in the area, and needed a permanent fix for the future.

"The construction cost for the project was almost $1.5 million. It was a very aggressive project with no funding allocated for it, but the need was immense and it was important to keep our promise to the neighborhood to complete this project on time," Engineer and Project Leader Caroline Burger said. "This was a true team effort with the neighborhood, consultants, city staff and partners at RG Huston."

According to city officials, the Project of the Year award was earned for:

  • Project's immense need

  • Initial flooding impact to the community

  • Use of good construction management techniques

  • Timely completion

  • Overall safety during construction

  • Work committed to working with the community to minimize public inconvenience during construction

  • Awareness to protect the environment while completing the project

  • Use of alternative materials, practices and funding

  • Difficulty of the location and project as a whole

The City of Madison Engineering Division shares the award with Brown and Caldwell and R.G. Huston Co. Inc.