ASCE Southwest Michigan 2021 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award winning project

Cork Street Corridor Improvements-Kalamazoo, Michigan

With a daily average traffic county of around 9,000 vehicles in 2019, you could say the Cork Street transportation corridor in Kalamazoo is....well, busy. The road is a major artery through the cities of Kalamazoo and Portage and sees its fair share of passenger and commercial vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. All that traffic means one thing: wear and tear on the road surface occurs at an incredible pace. From faded pavement markings to potholes to wear patterns in the road surface, Cork Street was in need of rescue. Officials at the City of Kalamazoo decided to undertake a proactive approach in 2018 and funded a substantial roadway rehabilitation project to improve the route, providing a smoother and safer travel path for users.

With Wightman as their design and construction engineer, the City committed to reconstruction 1.91 miles of Cork Street from 500 feet west of Lovers Lane to Sprinkle Road. The improvements included: 

  • Complete pavement reconstruction from Portage Street to Emerald Drive
  • Concrete pavement replacement at Cork Street and Portage Street intersection
  • Replacement of existing water main and services from Portage Street to Old Cork Street
  • Culvert replacement on Cork Street at Davis Creek crossing
  • Signal upgrades
  • Road diet conversion, reducing Cork Street from four lanes to three lanes
  • Dedicated bike lanes

Wightman also provided materials testing, construction staking, contract administration, topographic survey, pavement borings, creek and culvert modeling, and traffic study services for the ambitious project. Wightman project manager Phil Doorlag, P.E., remarked, "It was a great experience working with the City to re-imagine the Cork Street Corridor and implement a road diet to better serve all modes of transportation for city residents and continue to implement the City's bicycle system." Upgrading the City's aging infrastructure - from water main and storm sewer to culverts and pavement - has improved service to surrounding neighborhoods and will benefit residents and visitors alike long into the future. 

For an incredible look at the amount of work undertaken during the project, watch this video created by Wightman's own Nate Weinberg. It's a great visual representation of the thousands of pounds of equipment, debris, and dirt that are moved on a job site; the many construction partners it takes to complete a job successfully; and the hundreds of hours logged by individuals onsite setting forms, inspecting and testing materials, laying out and building the road base, safely trucking materials to and from the job, keeping the crews safe, installing the pavement markings, and so much more. 

Wightman Inspector Nate Weinberg pulled together this video highlighting the Cork Street Construction Project from March of 2020 to October of 2020.  

The City of Kalamazoo, and Wightman as a partner, was honored to receive the 2021 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the Southwest Michigan branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for the Cork Street project.

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