North Avenue Reconstruction Study
The Project at a Glance
In 2015 Waukesha County began a detailed study of North Avenue between Calhoun Road and 124th Street in Brookfield. The transportation improvements are being studied to address growing local and regional traffic volumes, and to enhance traffic flow and safety.
Reconstructing this segment of North Avenue has been in the county’s capital program for several years. Waukesha County, Wisconsin DOT and the Federal Highway Administration have committed funds to build the project. The current plan is to widen North Avenue to four lanes with sidewalk and on-street bike accommodations. Final state and federal approval of that plan will occur in 2019.
Latest News and Project Updates
Environmental Assessment Approved
The Wisconsin DOT and Federal Highway Administration approved the Environmental Assessment for the North Avenue Reconstruction in late October. The Environmental Assessment documents the need for the project, the alternatives Waukesha County considered, and the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the project. After consideration, Waukesha County has identified the Four-Lane Divided Roadway as the Preferred Alternative. As part of the process, the team coordinated with local, state, and federal agencies to assess environmental impacts and come up with measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate these impacts.
The Environmental Assessment is available here on the website. The document will also be available soon in the Brookfield Library and Elm Grove Library. A public hearing is being planned for January, and public comments on the Environmental Assessment are welcome. The formal start and end date of the comment period will be announced as soon a as a hearing date and location are secured.
Surveyors To Be Working Along North Avenue
In November and December survey crews will be putting stakes in the ground to identify the land Waukesha County needs to purchase land to reconstruct North Avenue. Property owners whose property needs to be acquired were notified by letters mailed on October 24, 2018.
Brookfield Greenway Trail Connections on North Avenue or Crossing North Avenue
Brookfield’s Civic Center Trail is routed along North Avenue between Calhoun Road and Pilgrim Road. A connection from the Underwood Creek Trail and the Elm Grove Trail is provided on North Avenue between Mound Zion Woods Court and Lilly Road. Other Brookfield and Elm Grove trails that connect to North Avenue are located on Calhoun Road, Pilgrim Road and Lilly Road. These trails are typically sidewalk/bike paths and/or on-street bike lanes. Other segments of North Avenue have no sidewalk or on-street bike lanes.
As part of the North Avenue reconstruction project paved bike paths/sidewalk will be provided on both sides of North Avenue between 124th Street and Calhoun Road. The sidewalk/bike paths will be 8-feet-wide between Calhoun and Pilgrim Roads and between Mound Zion Woods Court and Lilly Road. They will be 6-feet-wide in other segments. An extra-wide 14-foot lane on North Avenue will provide on-street bike accommodation on North Avenue (lanes are typically 11 feet wide).
North Avenue Noise Study Completed
Waukesha County and its consultant CH2M have completed a noise study for the project. Noise is one of many impacts that are assessed as part of every study project following the National and Wisconsin Environmental Policy Acts. The noise study completed for North Avenue uses a Federal Highway Administration-approved and tested software modeling program. As part of that process, the team identified a number of representative receptors (typically homes and businesses) to portray existing noise levels and predict future noise levels based on the roadway’s configuration and the resulting proximity of traffic to adjacent dwellings and office buildings. The methodology includes field measurements at a subset of receptors, computer modeling to verify that field measurements are consistent with the model’s predictions of existing noise, and then additional modeling using future-year traffic volumes and any changes in the location of the noise source(s) with respect to each receptor. Future noise levels are then compared to existing to determine if an “impact” has occurred, and if so, if any mitigation options (noise walls, for example) would be both effective in reducing those impacts, and cost-effective based on the number of benefitting receptors. The report includes all such findings.
Construction Now Planned for 2020
Waukesha County received additional state and federal funding to reconstruct the western one mile of the project at the same time as the eastern 2 miles so the construction of the whole 3-mile segment from 124th Street to Calhoun Road will begin in 2020. Waukesha County is still evaluated whether construction can be completed in one year or will be spread across two years. Either way, North Avenue will remain open to traffic during construction except for a few weeks when the railroad crossings near North Avenue and Pilgrim Road intersections are replaced.
Environmental Assessment Nears Completion
The environmental assessment that documents the need for the project, the alternatives Waukesha County considered, and the impacts of the project is under review by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. It will then be submitted to the Federal Highway Administration for review. It will be available for public review after WisDOT and the Federal Highway Administration approve it, later in 2018.
Third Public Involvement Meeting Held on Tuesday, November 15th, 2016
The project’s third Public Involvement Meeting was held at the City of Brookfield’s Safety Building on November 15th from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. The meeting included new information on impacts to parks and historic sites which are protected under Section 4(f) and new information on a design change to avoid impact to Pioneer Cemetery on North Avenue near Pilgrim Road. Section 4(f) is a federal law that stipulates that FHWA cannot approve the use of land from publicly owned parks, recreation areas, wildlife and waterfowl refuges or public and private historical sites unless there is no feasible or prudent avoidance alternative and the project includes all possible planning to minimize harm to the property resulting from such use; or FHWA determines the use of the property will have a de minimis impact.
The meeting was held in an open house format, and approximately 40 people attended. Representatives from Waukesha County and their consultant team were present to answer questions and receive comments. Please click on the links below to see the project displays and other information provided at the meeting:
Public Involvement Meeting #3 handout
Corridor features map
North Avenue overall schedule (including initial construction)
4-lane divided alternative conceptual layout
4-lane divided alternative typical roadway section
Section 4(f) properties and preliminary impacts:
- Elm Brook State Bank
- Brookfield Central High School Fields
- Daubner Farmstead
- Franklin Wirth Park
- Mound Zion Park
North Avenue Traffic Report Completed
Waukesha County and its study team has completed the traffic study and report for the project. The traffic report includes findings related to existing traffic and forecasted traffic growth over the next 20 years for the corridor and for intersections located between Calhoun Road and 124th Street. The appendices to the report provide more data and details with respect to the counts and forecasts, and analysis leading to the conclusions and recommendations included in the report. These recommendations have provided information used to develop various improvement alternatives along the 3-mile project corridor.
Second Public Involvement Meeting Held on Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
The meeting was held at the City of Brookfield’s Safety Building, and ran from 4pm to 7pm. Over seventy attendees viewed project displays highlighting existing conditions and early conceptual design elements, and discussed the project corridor with representatives from Waukesha County and their consultant team. Click on the links below to see the project displays and other information provided at the meeting.
Public Involvement Meeting #2 handout
Corridor features map
North Avenue study schedule (through completion of environmental document)
North Avenue overall schedule (including initial construction)
Existing and Future (Year 2039) traffic volumes and levels of service
Corridor crashes and crash rates (2010 through 2014)
Project Purpose & Need elements
Gap analysis (ability/inability to turn onto North Avenue)
Context Sensitive Solutions Advisory Group – organization and progress
Traffic calming elements and applicability
Conceptual “build alternatives” roadway dimensions (4-lane and 5-lane)
4-lane divided alternative conceptual layout
5-lane with two-way left turn lane alternative conceptual layout
Initial, Preliminary Range of Improvement Alternatives Under Development
Since the project’s inception last Summer, and based on feedback provided by residents, business owners, municipal officials and other stakeholders, the study team has been collecting data and investigating traffic, safety, and field information to develop a range of alternatives, including “do-nothing” and reconstruction alternatives including 3, 4, and 5 lane configurations. Please click the links to view pdf pictures of preliminary 4-lane (with grass median between travel lanes) and 5-lane (with continuous two-way left-turn lane between the travel lanes) alternatives. These two alternatives satisfy project purpose and need objectives, to handle future (Year 2039) forecasted traffic volumes safely and with acceptable levels of congestion. Neither the “do-nothing” nor the 3-lane alternative passed the purpose and need test, and are no longer considered viable alternatives.
These remaining alternatives are subject to continued revision and refinement as the study continues through the rest of 2016. Working with stakeholders, Waukesha County continues to study a number of design features, including: lane, median and terrace widths; sidewalk locations; driveway and median opening locations; intersection options (no signals, signals, and roundabouts in three locations), and any new right-of-way (land) that might need to be acquired to construct the alternative. All information remains preliminary and subject to change. Your continued participation is absolutely vital to the study process, as alternatives continue to be studied and refined.
North Avenue Reconstruction Project Context Sensitive Solutions Advisory Group
Waukesha County has established a Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) Advisory Group for the North Avenue Reconstruction Project. The CSS Advisory Group is made up of a wide range of stakeholders who have an interest in potential improvements to North Avenue between Calhoun Road and 124th Street. Members of the Advisory Group include residents, businesses, and elected officials.
The CSS Advisory Group will meet 10 times over the course of the North Avenue Reconstruction Project to discuss project related issues ranging from issue identification to alternatives and finally detailed design. The meetings will be held at the Brookfield Library between 4:00pm and 6:00pm on the dates listed below (please note that meeting dates are subject to change based on project progress).
Meeting 1 (Project Introduction) – 8/5/2015. Meeting minutes here and agenda here.
Meeting 2 (Issue Prioritization) – 9/1/2015. Meeting minutes here, NEPA 101 presentation here and agenda here.
Meeting 3 (Project Updates) – 10/14/2015. Meeting minutes here, presentation here and agenda here.
Meeting 4 (Alternatives) – 12/9 /2015. Meeting minutes here, presentation here and agenda here. Also presented were two roadway alternatives, 4-lane divided and 5-lane.
Meeting 5 (Narrowed Range of Alternatives) – 2/17/2016. Meeting minutes here and presentation here.
Meeting 6 (Public Meeting #2 Discussion Update) – 4/13/2016. Meeting minutes here, presentation here and functional classification map here.
Meeting 7 (Environmental Assessment content) – 7/27/2016. Meeting presentation here and agenda here.
Meeting 8 (Preliminary Design and Plat Update) – 12/7/2016.
Meeting 9 (Preliminary Design and Plat Update) – 1/18/2017.
Meeting 10 (Preliminary Design and Plat Update) – 5/17/2017.
The meetings are open to the public and stakeholders are encouraged to attend to observe the Advisory Group’s discussions with project team members. The formal meeting will involve dialogue and working sessions between the Advisory Group and project team members only. Project team members will be available to address questions or comments from non-Advisory Group stakeholders between 3:30pm and 4:00pm.
If you have any questions, please contact Ed Hinrichs with the Waukesha County Department of Public Works by email at email@example.com or by phone at (262) 548-7740.
First Public Involvement Meeting Held on Thursday, August 13th, 2016
The meeting was held at Dixon Elementary School and ran from 4pm to 7pm. Eighty attendees viewed graphics and discussed the project corridor with representatives from Waukesha County and their consultant team. Click on the links below to see the project displays and other information provided at the meeting.
Public Involvement Meeting 1 Handout
Existing 2-Lane and 4-Lane Roadway Dimensions
Possible 4-Lane and 5-Lane Roadway Dimensions (with sidewalks)
Possible 4-Lane and 5-Lane Roadway Dimensions (with Multi-use Path)
2010-2014 Crash Data
2004-2012 Traffic Counts
Overall Project Schedule
Study Phase Schedule
Project Features Map
Waukesha County has developed a project mailing list (all those with property abutting North Avenue will be included in that list, and will receive regular project notices and updates). If you would like to be added to the mailing list via email or US mail, please fill out the form below.
Mailing List Request Form
Some site visitors have reported problems using the website tool for requesting they be added to the project mailing list. We have confirmed that the tool is working; however, some visitors’ firewalls and/or browser settings may cause it not to function for them. If you are unable to use the tool below, please send a direct email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request that you be added to the project’s mailing list. Thank you.