Women in Construction Week 2024: Ali Heinritz


The first time riding a bike is a major life milestone for so many, but for City of Madison Traffic Engineering Division Traffic Engineer Ali Heinritz, little did she know it’d be the first taste of a path toward a career in transportation.

“I’ve always liked matchbox cars, as a kid I started biking at such a young age,” Heinritz said. “So just in general, being outside and traveling around the city via bike, walking, scootering, it’s always been in my blood. It’s always been my calling to be a traffic engineer.” 

Heinritz is in charge of keeping people safe while moving across the City of Madison on its streets and paths. 

“What I do on a regular basis is signing, pavement marking, traffic control,” Heinritz said. “I’m also one of the co-leads on the Vision Zero initiative. Primarily, I focus on traffic safety and getting people around the city as safe as possible.” 

Heinritz learned how to ride a bike in Appleton, Wis., went on to college in San Diego, Calif. and continued to grow her interest in transportation.

“I always knew I loved math and science, so engineering kind of fell into my lap,” Heinritz said. “My uncle is also an engineer, that was my influence. My mom always told us to support yourselves, and I chose engineering as a major in college.”

Heinritz studied in San Diego, in classes where she was one of few women. 

“In college, primarily or the majority of my classes, 75 percent were men,” Heinritz said. 

Ali Heinritz

Heinritz was also one of few people she’d see on the Trolley/light rail while taking public transportation, a drastically different experience in transportation what she loves here in Madison, Wis.

I love how Madison is such a great walking, biking community, California, no one does that, no one,” Heinritz said. 

Coming back to Wisconsin was home for Heinritz, and her job in the Traffic Engineering Division tasked her with her first project, one for the City’s history books: Bassett Street protected bike lane.

“I was with the team who really planned this out,” Heinritz said. “This is one of the first protected bike facilities in the city with the flexible delineators. I’m pretty proud of this. It was one of the first ones, it works really well!”

Also working well, Heinritz designing for the City of Madison, a community looking for ways to create safe transportation options for all, and careers in construction for women to thrive like Heinritz is.

“Women should look into the STEM field, science, chemistry, biology, engineering just one of them, but there is just so many opportunities in STEM,” Heinritz said.

Whether you’re biking or scootering like Heinritz, or traveling across the City going one of the new lowered speed limits thanks to Vision Zero, transportation impacts our way of life, and can set you up for a great career. 

“Any platform to get more women into engineering and the STEM field is always a wonderful thing,” Heinritz said. “There’s a lot more women in construction and engineering today, and it’s wonderful and we’re seeing better engineers because of it!” 

The City of Madison is highlighting the work of five women during National

 Women in Construction Week March 3-9, 2024

Women in Construction Week Banner 2024
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