South Avenue Project

In February of 2016, the City of La Crosse Common Council authorized a contract with Toole Design, Inc. to study the South Avenue corridor in conjunction with a planned WisDOT project from Green Bay Street to Ward Avenue, just south of the Gundersen Health Systems Campus. The contract was intended to add value to the project, studying components outside the scope of services of the WisDOT project, but also studying key features of the WisDOT project such as multi-modal facilities and side street connections. The contract includes the following scope:

  • Multi-modal connectivity and alternatives (bike, pedestrian, transit)
  • Side street and new linkages and intersections
  • Land use and redevelopment strategies
  • Roadway alignment and development impact
  • Public engagement

Contract Proposal

In addition, the contract included a research element to generally study the role of alternative transportation planning and investment criteria other than the traditional Level of Service targets WisDOT employs. This research document includes the study of other states where an emphasis on safety and cost (including sustainable urban impacts) are paramount.

It is important for the general public to understand the difference between this scope of work and WisDOT’s. WisDOT is primarily focusing on the roadway design and functions, especially to improve safety on the corridor. The design of the roadway itself, including the projected right of way width and impacts on private property, is largely a WisDOT function. Alternatively, the Toole contract is meant to compliment the project given the scope listed above. Persons wanting to influence the roadway design are strongly encouraged to attend WisDOT’s public information meetings (PIMs) which are linked to this site below.

This project is expected to take 6 to 8 months from March through August, 2017. WisDOT’s planned reconstruction of South Avenue is expected to take place in 2022.

We encourage your participation and feedback in this important project.

In May 2018, the Common Council received and filed the report of the South Avenue Steering Committee, including the Level of Service Alternatives Evaluation and the South Ave Multimodal Assessment.

See below for more information on:

Study Area Map
Public Participation
Steering Committee
Meeting Materials and Agendas



Wisconsin DOT South Avenue Project


Study Area

Public Participation

Task 5: Public Engagement

This study will include a public engagement element to solicit ideas, information, and concerns from residents, employers, and others about the issues described in Tasks 2-4. It is assumed that WisDOT (or their consultant) will undertake their own public engagement process for the South Avenue redesign; this project will take that design as a given, and will not be soliciting input on the South Avenue design, except for how it relates to Tasks 2-4.

Open Houses (2)

Two open houses will be held to solicit input from the public and describe the overall study. The first open house will be held early in the study and will focus on asking residents, employers, employees, and other users of the Study Area about bicycle and pedestrian issues that they face, concerns over connectivity in the Study Area, and other issues. The second open house will be held late in the study to unveil study recommendations to the public and ask for feedback on the recommendations. The City will be responsible for coordinating and reserving space for the open houses, and for promotion of the events.

Stakeholder Interviews / Focus Groups (up to 4)

TDG will host up to four (4) interviews or listening sessions with stakeholders to solicit information and feedback from specific groups related to the items detailed in Tasks 2-4. These stakeholder interviews or focus groups may include bicycle clubs/groups, neighborhood associations, City transportation committee members and staff, business owners and large employers in the Study Area, and others. The City is expected to assist in identifying specific groups or individuals for interviews. The interviews may be conducted in person or over the phone.

Task 4 Deliverables

  • Study Open Houses (2)
  • Interviews / Focus Groups (up to 4)

Steering Committee

1. Council Member Phil Ostrem
2. Council Member Martin Gaul
3. Council Member Paul Medinger
4. Michael Richards, Gundersen Health Systems, Chamber/Business Representative
5. Mary Kessens, Riverfront, Chamber/Business Representative
6. Fran Formanek, Citizen
Jason Gilman, Staff Advisor

Meeting Materials and Agendas

December 14, 2017 Steering Committee Meeting - 12-1:30 p.m. at City Hall (PresentationMeeting Materials, Agenda)
August 4, 2017 Steering Committee Meeting - 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at City Hall (Meeting Materials, Presentation, Agenda, Minutes)
June 20, 2017 Public Information Meeting - 5:30-7 p.m. at Central High School (PresentationAgenda, Maps, Boards, Minutes
May 24, 2017 Steering Committee Meeting - 1:30-3 p.m. at City Hall (PresentationAgenda, Minutes)
April 12, 2017 Public Information Meeting - 5:30-7 p.m. at Central High School (PresentationMap, Handout, Boards, Agenda, Minutes)
April 12, 2017 Steering Committee Meeting - 3:30-5 p.m. at City Hall (Presentation, Agenda, Minutes)
March 7, 2017 Steering Committee Meeting - 3-4:30 p.m. at City Hall (Meeting Materials, Agenda, Minutes)

Staff Contact

Jason Gilman, AICP
Director of Planning and Development