Trends Summer 2015 | Page 14

More on Marinette Marine Marinette Marine began in 1942 with a contract to build five wooden barges. Today the firm is a world-class shipbuilder serving the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard, among other clients. One measure of the firm’s success is its steady growth. Employment has grown 60 percent since 2009. The size of the facility has increased: a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 20, 2013, commemorated more than $73 million worth of improvements and expansion. The facility now includes more than 550,000 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse, and receiving space. Ayres was there for Marinette Marine during a previous expansion shortly after the turn of the century that resulted in a ship launch facility that went from 225 feet long to 400 feet long. The 3-footthick launch pad can handle ships weighing up to 4,000 tons. Ayres also helped with dredging the Menominee River 10 feet deeper to a depth of 35 feet to accommodate the larger ships the launch pad was able to support. The project received a 2004 Engineering Excellence State Finalist Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin. Use the QR code or go to to see video of the 2003 launch of a Coast Guard ship from the expanded launch pad. in the morning and students were released in the afternoon, so traffic impacts were going to be significant. There were also two other large employers in the immediate area that had similar shift change schedules,” Kolaszewski said. “Moving traffic efficiently was key.” Ayres’ study looked at historic and projected traffic loads and patterns, other land use activities in the project area, and pedestrian activity in the City’s downtown. Considering all these factors, new traffic signals were installed at three intersections along Main Street and one intersection on Ely Street. Another set of intersection traffic signals on Main Street was upgraded. The intersection at Main and Ely streets, which is the main access to Marinette Marine, was reconfigured to increase traffic efficiency. 14│TRENDS “The lights are synchronized to accommodate traffic loads at the various times of day,” Kolaszewski said. At the same time, aging underground utilities needed upgrading. Some of the storm sewer needed significant upgrades to meet the needs of the area. Marinette chose to maximize long-term benefits from the upgrades. All streets needed replacement of storm sewer, water main, and sanitary sewer. But Ely is heavily traveled by vehicles and pedestrians, so the City decided to utilize a concrete pavement roadway and added sidewalk and improved decorative lighting, trees, and plantings to make the street more welcoming. Stanton and Main Streets were resurfaced with concrete pavement – a more expensive option at the onset, but the surface will last longer under the increased truck and vehicle traffic in the project area. However, improvements to Main Street went beyond underground utilities road surfacing. “Main Street now has beautiful street lighting, colored concrete, and bike lanes,” Miller said. “We created a corridor that is very pleasing to the eye.” Hopes are that more commercial ventures will invest in Main Street properties as the plant expansion brings more people through the area. Stanton is a dead-end street that provides the only means of ingress and egress to two other major employers, and providing access during construction was important. “Staging traffic to accommodate these big employers was a tremendous challenge,” Kolaszewski said. “There are also a lot of businesses along Main Street that required access. We used phased construction for traffic to maximize access to businesses and services at all times.” Communication was key, Miller said. “Ayres did a great job with constant communication. That was important to us. This project was large; it was complex. Ayres did a great job of minimizing the effects on the community.” Construction took more than a year, but now Marinette has the infrastructure to support its major employers and improvements that benefits residents and visitors. “Everything turned out well,” Miller said. “We are always receiving favorable comments.” Street redesign brings new life to Milwaukee suburb By Jason Sweet Or at least that’s the way it seemed up until recently. For decades, far too many forlorn storefronts sat amidst the street’s 1920s architecture. They signified a stagnant business district in the “East Tosa” area of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, an inner suburb of Milwaukee. thought the street itself impeded economic development, that its “chicane” design moved traffic too quickly. In theory a traffic calming strategy, a chicane design creates a serpentine flow of motorists by using left-turn lanes and curb bumpouts. Ironically, it has the potential to increase traffic speeds because there are no enforced stopping mechanisms. According to Bill Porter, City director of public works, many in the area If a street’s design can negatively affect an area’s economy, that also T he heyday of North Avenue was a long time ago. suggests a design can have a positive effect. So what would such a street look like? Answering that question would