East-West Bus Rapid Transit

Milwaukee County, WI

HNTB has worked hand-in-hand with Milwaukee County and its transit agency, Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS), since 2015 to plan, design, and implement Wisconsin’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) project and to secure a $40.9 million Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Small Starts grant agreement in 2020. The East-West BRT is a $50 million, 9-mile route connecting downtown Milwaukee’s 84,000 employees with the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center’s 1.5 million annual visitors and 6,000+ employees. The route will enhance transit access along the region’s most vital, most traveled, and most congested east-west corridor, and will play a critical role in advancing the region’s multimodal transportation system in a cost-effective manner that will support economic development.

Since 2015, HNTB has worked on the Feasibility Study, Preliminary and Final Design, and Construction Management.

During the project’s feasibility study, HNTB, as a major subconsultant partner, was integral to the development and selection of a locally preferred alternative (LPA). HNTB analyzed, screened, and worked with our partners to make decisions related to three potential BRT alignments. In addition, HNTB led an extensive public outreach program, developed the project purpose and need statement, and prepared the documentation to request entry into FTA Project Development.

During the project’s design phase, HNTB, continuing as a major subconsultant partner, helped to refine the LPA from the feasibility study and take the project through final design. HNTB continued to lead the public outreach efforts for this phase and led the traffic analysis and signal designs. HNTB coordinated with FTA and assisted in preparation of the FTA’s Small Starts submission.

Currently, HNTB, is the prime consultant providing construction management services. Our committed team helped the client execute the Small Starts Grant Agreement in December 2020 and oversaw value engineering, independent cost estimating, integrated schedule, constructability review, FTA coordination, and implementation strategy for selection of the construction contractor. HNTB helped lead the client through the contractor bidding negotiation and on-boarding process in preparation for construction of the first BRT and Capital Investment Grant (CIG) project in the state of Wisconsin. Construction is expected to last two construction seasons (Spring to Fall 2021 and 2022).