Highway models over graveyard
We have built over fifteen engineering scale models for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation over the years. Yes, these are models of Highways and intersections. The models can be large and expensive but the engineers CH2M Hill and the WisDOT keep having them built.
Civil Engineering Scale Models Help Educate the Public
The benefit is to educate the public, smooth public opinion and to get the public behind these complex projects. These civil engineering models are displayed at various venues around the state but the most popular venue is the Wisconsin State Fair.
In this instance two large scale models were needed to show two proposed highway alignments. The challenge being that, along with normal traffic, this highway bisects the Wood National Cemetery and handles the traffic from Miller Park home of the Milwaukee Brewers.
One of the alignments showed an extensive bi-level highway which minimized the footprint through the cemetery. The other alternative had a more conventional design with unique intersections.
In order to demonstrate the impact to the region the client wanted to show a large swath of land around the highway that included thousands of houses and businesses.
Time and money are always a concern so we designed two of the engineering models that showed off the highway corridor and highlighted the immediate buildings along with the Wood National Cemetery. The rest of the region was represented as aerial photos that attached to the models on all sides.
Engineering Scale Model Details
Each scale model was divided into two sections that when assembled were about 14′ long. Four large but very light panels could be secured to the outside of each model with the aerials printed on them. When assembled each model measured about 6′ x 14′. At the state fair, the models were lined up along a 30′ wall for the public to view and comment on.
There are several articles talking about the many decisions that were made using our models as demonstrative displays. Here are a couple of links if you are interested. The feedback that these extensive models provided was invaluable to the process.