The City of Green Bay hired Ayres to design the complex North Webster Avenue reconstruction project, which stretches 0.84 mile from just north of the East River to Radisson Street. The project had been a City planning priority since 2007. The project won the 2020 Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association, Wisconsin Chapter.
North Webster Avenue is a gateway into the central part of the City, providing direct access to the downtown business district and two trauma centers. The street moves thousands of manufacturing workers, and truck traffic makes up more than 10% of the street’s traffic.
The new street accommodates this mix of traffic as well as adding on-street bike lanes, a pedestrian sidewalk along the west side of the corridor, and a shared-use trail along the east side. The storm sewer was upgraded along this section of North Webster Avenue. In addition, the existing water main and sanitary sewer, which were reaching the end of their service lives, were rehabilitated and/or replaced to minimize service interruptions.
The Canadian National (CN) railroad crossing within the project area previously had no gates, but this safety improvement has been added as part of this design project, and a railroad switch has been moved to accommodate the shared-use trail. Traffic signals were upgraded at the University Avenue intersection.
The project upgraded the four-lane undivided street to a four-lane divided roadway with a grassed, inverted median that will not only help control the quantity of water draining to adjacent waterways during a rain event, but also will improve water quality. To accommodate the wider corridor, 24 homes were removed along the east side of North Webster Avenue.
Extensive coordination was needed with utility companies and the Canadian National Railroad. Webster Avenue is a major north-south corridor for traffic into and out of the City, so the project was staged during construction. The project received STP urban funding.