Engineering Drive Utilities Extension, Replacement, and Restoration
The State of Wisconsin Department of Administration/Department of Facilities Development (DOA/DFD) has retained Ayres Associates on behalf of The University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW-Madison) to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed demolition, restoration, earthwork, and utility tunnels along West Dayton Street to North Randall Avenue; then north to Engineering Drive, then west along Engineering Drive, and throughout the Engineering campus to the Lot 17 Parking Facility and north to the south right-of-way line along the railway line.
The EIA will be prepared in accordance with the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act (WEPA), Wisconsin Statutes 1.11, and UWSA guidelines (Board of Regents' Resolution 2508, November 6, 1981). An initial requirement of the EIA is the scoping process. The intent of the scoping process is to identify at an early stage the potential beneficial or adverse impacts of the project on the physical, biological, social, and economic environments, and to collect further public input on those areas. Because you or your agency or group may have an interest in the project, we are inviting you to participate in the scoping process.
Buildings located on the UW-Madison campus are all served by various central utilities critical to their operation. The main campus portfolio of buildings is served by three heating and cooling plants that supply steam, chilled water, and compressed air throughout campus and are considered a district energy system. Madison Gas & Electric provides electrical power to campus, and the campus distributes the power to buildings from substations. Signal communications are primarily routed in parallel with the electrical power utilities and serve campus from several nodal locations. Civil utilities serving campus (domestic water, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer) are a combination of university-owned and public utility-owned systems. Maintaining and improving these systems is a constant process requiring a substantial and consistent investment. The operating budget supports routine maintenance; however, as the university portfolio of buildings grows and the utility system ages, major capital improvements are necessary to continue to maintain and provide sufficient service to the campus portfolio of buildings. Therefore, for each biennium, the university identifies critical maintenance and improvement projects, such as this proposal, to be funded through the capital budget to support these needs.
A Campus Utility Master Plan was completed in 2005 and updated in 2015. Both efforts recommended that the Engineering Drive utility systems be replaced and/or relocated due to age, condition, and location. They increased size, where necessary, to support current and future facilities and provide additional system redundancy. This proposed utility improvement project was developed to increase utility reliability, decrease operational costs, and develop the site utilities to be viable for the next 50 years or more. Advanced planning was completed in 2020, which clarified the scope of work needed for this request.
Proposed Project Action
The proposed project includes demolition, restoration, earthwork, and construction of utility tunnels along West Dayton Street to North Randall Avenue, then north to Engineering Drive, then west along Engineering Drive, and throughout the Engineering campus to the Lot 17 Parking Facility and north to the south right-of-way line along the railway line. Work includes removing and replacing existing underground utilities on Engineering Drive, Engineering Mall, and replacing existing chilled water lines on North Randall Avenue and West Dayton Street back to Charter Street. In addition to replacing underground utilities, the project will also include erosion control, site grading, street replacement, traffic control, site restoration, and surveys verifying as-built conditions to assure an accurate development of design and bidding documents.
Construction will be completed in phases, each affecting a different section of the project site.
The EIA report will evaluate the project's potential positive and adverse environmental impacts in accordance with the WEPA and UWSA guidelines. Issues identified during the scoping process will be addressed in the Draft EIA report. As part of our standard EIA process, Ayres Associates will perform research using available databases and resources to collect information pertaining to the project's environmental, social, economic, cultural, or historical aspects.
The Draft EIA report will be made available to the public for a 15-day comment period. The DEIA release date and the start of the public review period are January 21, 2023, and the public meeting is scheduled for February 9, 2023.
The public meeting to present the DEIA for the proposed project will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, 2023. The meeting will be held virtually and can be attended online at https://meet.goto.com/AyresTest/engdriveutilities or via phone by dialing +1 (408) 650-3123 followed by access code 678-137-125. A description of the project and potential environmental impacts will be presented. All persons will be afforded a reasonable opportunity to identify both orally and in writing any support, issues, or concerns they believe should be further addressed during the EIA process for this proposed project. The DEIA has been prepared in accordance with the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act (WEPA), Wisconsin Statutes 1.11, and UWSA guidelines (Board of Regents’ Resolution 2508, November 6, 1981). The University of Wisconsin System Administration (UWSA) has retained Ayres Associates on behalf of the University of Wisconsin-Madison to prepare this EIA.
The purpose of the Draft EIA is to identify the project’s potential impacts on the physical, biological, social, and economic environments. The Draft EIA describing these potential impacts is being made available to the public and appropriate federal, state, and local agencies for a 15-day minimum review period, which begins January 21 and concludes February 9, 2023.
If you are interested in this project or have any information relevant to it, we welcome your comments, suggestions, or other input. For consideration in the Final EIA, please submit your comments at the meeting or in writing by February 9, 2023. Comments in writing can be sent to:
Bill Honea, PG