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Faith: We're up at Villa Mann Creek
today, and it's the upper part of the
Kinnickinnic watershed. It's a
recently completed project where the
cement line channel has been replaced
with a more natural stream. And it's
part of a very large project for the
expansion of the Interstate 94 from
the Illinois State Border up till
Milwaukee. I have with me Bill and
Karla from the Wisconsin Department of
Transportation. Bill, could you give a
little history of the project and
what's special about it?
Bill: Sure. This project was started
in approximately 2005 with the study
of reconstructing the Interstate, as
you said Interstate 94, from Illinois
through the Mitchell Interchange here
in Milwaukee. It encompasses the
freeway through three counties –
Kenosha County, Racine County, and
Milwaukee County. Again, its 35 miles
long, approximate cost is $1.9
billion. What we will do is we will
add an additional lane in each
direction, the whole quarter length.
And as part of that we are also
reconstructing 17 interchanges as well
as a system interchange, which is an
interchange where two freeways come together.
And that, you can hear it in the
background, that freeway noise, that
is the Mitchell Interchange. We have
approximately over 200,000 vehicles
utilize that interchange. One of the
unique features of this project is it
is both a rural and an urban freeway
reconstruction project, and included
with that is what you see here, the
Villa Mann pre-restoration. This was
an urban channel, a concrete line
channel, as well as some rural areas,
and with help from Karla and our
design team, we have done what you see
here, the realignment and
reconstruction of a stream.
Faith: What are some of the
considerations of the site, Karla,
that you had to do with this
Karla: Well, what's unusual about this
particular stream and location is that
we don't usually work in live channel.
Typically what we do is we go off
alignment and reconstruct a new
channel. In this instance, we've
worked with Sewer Pac who is Tom
Slawski, and we've worked with a
consultant who does the design and
then of course the DNR. And we all
work together on different components.
Here we not only took out all of the
concrete in a section of the channel,
but in addition to that we were able
to do another section of natural
meandering. And then we created a lot
of flood plain and from that we're
able to work with regulatory
compliance and get some wetland
So within the flood plain we have a
wet meadow, and then we also have like
an upland prairie buffer. And what
that is critical for is this helps
with dealing with flat issues in the
community especially in an urban area.
And it also provides a lot of habitat
for critters, and it's more natural
than it was before.
Faith: And you did that all within
some pretty narrow constraints still
for the existing residential areas on
the site too.
Karla: Yes, and we try to maximize as
much acquisition as we could to create
flood plain, but as you can see in
this area we are pretty constrained.
Faith: Let's go take a closer look.
[End of Audio]
Title: Reconstructing streams in zones of freeway expansion, Villa Mann Creek, Wisconsin
Faith Fitzpatrick (U.S. Geological Survey), Bill Mohr (Wisconsin Department of Transportation), and Karla Leithoff (Wisconsin Department of Transportation) describe the floodplain, wetland, and channel restoration aspects.
Location: WI, Villa Mann Creek, USA
Date Taken: 11/17/2010
Video Producer: Douglas A. Harned , National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA), USGS, North Carolina Water Science Center, Raleigh, NC
Note: This video has been released into the public domain by the U.S. Geological Survey for use in its entirety. Some videos may contain pieces of copyrighted material. If you wish to use a portion of the video for any purpose, other than for resharing/reposting the video in its entirety, please contact the Video Producer/Videographer listed with this video. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this video.
Additional Video Credits:
Faith Fitzpatrick: Scriptwriter, Narrator, Scientist Consultant
Gerard McMahon: Producer
Douglas Harned: Producer, Video, Editor
Alan Cressler: Video
Luke McMahon: Video
Bill Mohr (Wisconsin Department of Transportation)
Karla Leithoff (Wisconsin Department of Transportation)
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