West Drexel Avenue - City of Oak Creek, Wisconsin
The City of Oak Creek identified Drexel Avenue to be upgraded from a two-lane rural cross section to a four-lane urban cross section with a median and turn lanes. R.A. Smith National was retained to design the new road with a strong emphasis on controlling the flooding and developing a storm water retention system.
R. A. Smith National engineers performed an alternatives analysis of nine different cross section options. This level of effort was necessary to develop a design that would accommodate the city’s anticipated traffic volumes and meet the WDNRs requirements for minimal wetland disturbance.
Because of the poor bearing capacity of the wetland soil a collaboration meeting was held with city engineers, R.A. Smith National engineers and the geotechnical consultant on the project. R.A. Smith National provided the city with three alternatives: build a bridge over the wetland area, excavate 20 to 25 feet into the ground or use a Rammed Aggregate Pier® (RAP) system to reinforce the soils in place.
After further research by all parties and additional collaboration meetings, the City of Oak Creek agreed on the use of the RAP system as the preferred solution. With consultation from Ground Improvement Engineering, the final design included the installation of 3,600 piers through the wetland section.