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Building the High Road

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Edwards Boulevard

Location: Lake Geneva, WI

Partners: The City of Lake Geneva

Services: Road and bridge construction, excavation, grading and filling, environmental compliance and protection, drainage management, environmental restoration, water flow control and line stop installation.


The Edwards Boulevard project involved building a road and bridge across heavily wooded terrain that included a 70-foot elevation change. It was necessary to cut a 28-foot trench through the southern hill — an area containing slopes and inclines. Accessing the bridge from the north required crossing 300 feet of wetland marsh to reach solid ground. The marsh was excavated and filled with granular material to establish a solid foundation. The plan was to perform the marsh excavation in the winter months when the ground solidified, but land procurement delays prevented the groundbreaking until spring. This added a significant challenge. Reesman overcame this obstacle by placing our excavator on crane mats, to prevent sinking in the marsh, while loading trucks on stabilized sections that had been previously excavated. The bridge was constructed first. Material from the hill excavation was moved to the north end to fill the roadway and prepare future commercial sites.

The project required crossing the White River, the primary outlet for Lake Geneva, which is considered a high-quality watercourse by the Department of Natural Resources. Reesman worked closely with DNR officials to ensure proper protection of the wetland and waterway, and compliance within the permitted conditions, specifications and plans. To direct all surface water during the project, Reesman created the north detention pond during initial construction, and carefully maintained control of surface drainage throughout construction. For additional protection to the wetland and river, we placed an interim sediment trap and partial storm sewer lead ahead of the pond. Reesman worked closely with a landscaping contractor to implement restoration measures and stabilize the site with seed and matte as the grading progressed.

Water challenges surfaced throughout construction. The roadway required relocating and lowering a 16″ water main and secondary 14″ water feed servicing The Grand Geneva Resort. It was necessary to compress the project timeline during this phase to prevent water supply interruptions to the resort. Using the latest technology, Reesman installed a line stop at the juncture of the water mains, allowing the external tapping of the main and internal insertion of a diaphragm to temporarily stop water flow. This technique enabled us to accommodate the elevations of the new roadway and revised alignment of Sheridan Springs Road. In order to decrease the amount of exposure, the new water feeds were allotted thirty days for completion.