Since 2018: Waite Circle
The City of Madison Engineering Division is focusing on a number of projects to show what the City and Engineering has done ‘Since 2018’ when a flood devastated our community on Aug. 20, 2018. In this first of five blog posts, we spoke with City of Madison Engineering Division Stormwater Engineer Caroline Burger about the Waite Circle project that was a long-term solution to a previous emergency repair.
What was the issue with flooding for Waite Circle?
“The emergency repair resulted in a culvert opening that was too small for the amount of stormwater resulting from the June and August 2018 storm events. This caused stormwater to back up behind the culvert and eventually flood the homes on Waite Circle.”
What did we do to fix it?
“Engineering fast-tracked a design and construction project to reconstruct the culvert. 'Fast-tracked' means we did it much faster than our normal process usually takes.”
Why was there a problem/why did we fix it?
“We reconstructed the culvert because it was too small after the June and August 2018 storm events. We heard the response from the people it was directly impacting, and we worked with the area to correct the issue. We appreciate the information and direct collaboration with the neighbors in the area, and are proud we could provide a long-term solution.”
How much was the project?
“Design was approximately $100,000. Construction was approximately $1.4 million.”
How long did it take us to fix it?
“Design lasted approximately four months. Construction also lasted approximately four months. The new culvert was reconstructed by the end of 2019. Please note: this is an incredibly fast timeline for the City. It took ‘all hands on deck’ for it to be successful.”
How much of an impact does this project have from a bigger picture perspective? Why is this important?
“This provides peace of mind for the homes along Waite Circle. It is also the main stormwater conveyance location for the Wingra West Watershed. All the stormwater in the upstream half of the watershed flows through this location to get to the downstream part.”
Anything else you want to share about this project and progress since?
"There are many flood infrastructure improvements planned for this watershed (It is in the Wingra West Watershed). As the infrastructure improvements are constructed, the stormwater flow through this area can and likely will change. The culvert was designed to have flexibility in the opening size using what we call a restrictor plate. With this plate, we can change the opening size. The change in opening size changes the amount of stormwater that can get into the culvert. This changes the amount of stormwater that can flow through this location. We are proud of this project as it also won the State American Public Works Association (APWA) and National APWA Award for Best Emergency Repair/Reconstruction.”