In 2022, Wisconsin DOT (WisDOT) selected the Kraemer-SRF-EXP team for its first major Design-Build project. The project replaces three functionally obsolete and structurally deficient bridges, constructed in the 1940s, carrying WIS-130 over the Wisconsin River near Lone Rock, Wisconsin with two new bridges on a new alignment. The new bridges include – a 920’ long bridge over the main river channel and a 1,100’ long bridge over the side channel. At the project’s south end, WIS-130 ends at an intersection with WIS-133 which runs on a steeply sloping river bluff. The project includes widening WIS-133 on each side of the bridge to add left-turn lanes and the widening requires new retaining walls that are situated on steep slopes.
EXP is the lead bridge engineer for the Design-Build team. During the bid proposal phase, EXP led efforts for Alternate Technical (Bridge) Concepts and preliminary engineering for both bridges. During the final design phase, EXP provided the final design engineering and construction plans and specifications for the bridge over the main river channel (South Bridge) and the retaining walls.
The proposed south bridge is 36’ wide carrying one lane of traffic in each direction. It consists of six continuous PPC girder spans totaling 920’. The bridge’s south abutment, situated on the steeply sloping bluff, required a complex design solution with tie-back anchors. The piers and north abutment needed to be designed for deep scour. Since the bridge spans over the scenic Wisconsin River, the bridge design integrated many architectural features including aesthetic hammerhead piers, rustication patterns and a 2-tone staining of concrete surfaces visible to the river traffic.
A significant milestone was reached in March 2023 with the completion of the design engineering services for the proposed main river bridge and retaining walls. The construction for the south bridge began in May 2023 with an estimated completion of early 2025.
The proposed South Bridge will be a significant infrastructure project to replace the existing WIS 130 bridges that are posted for restricted load and reaching the end of their service life. During construction, the existing WIS 130 bridges will remain in service while the new bridges are constructed on a new alignment.
“This being the first major Design-Build bridge project, it is an important precedent-setting project for Wisconsin DOT. EXP was honored to work alongside WISDOT to design very efficient, aesthetic, low maintenance and durable structures to enhance the safety, mobility and effectiveness of WISDOT’s infrastructure,” said Vice President, Midwest Bridge Department Manager, Vinod Patel, PE, SE.