North Beach Access Improvements along WWTP

City of Port Washington, WI

The North Beach access paths along the City’s wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), were in need of both structural and aesthetic improvements to properly greet visitors to the popular beach destination. The City’s goal was to improve the overall experience for beach visitors, while maintaining the functional safety and operational integrity of the WWTP. Clark Dietz provided planning and design for the improvements.

An imposing perimeter fence constrained the width of the path and bisecting light poles impeded navigation. Replacing the perimeter fence with a decorative fence and moving it closer to the facility, widened the path from 5’ to a 15’. Existing light poles were relocated and refitted with LED lights and the new concrete path, complete with lake themed etchings, now provides clear passage and ADA accessibility. Strategic landscaping enhances the route and screens the view of the WWTP. West path improvements included removing unnecessary fencing to showcase the natural vegetation of the adjacent bluff. The parking lot was reconfigured to maximize capacity and a convenient drop-off area added. Incorporating sustainable stormwater management practices reduced runoff and pollutant discharges to Lake Michigan. The new main plant entrance gate includes security features for after-hour access and a new 20’ gate at the north end of the facility accommodates truck turning radii and functionality for the WWTP.

Working in partnership with City stakeholders, the public, and SAA Design group, the North Beach access improvements transformed a once cumbersome and visually unappealing traverse along the WWTP into an inviting and pleasant stroll to the beach. The improvements now serve as a natural extension to the City’s Harbor Walk area and showcase the City’s commitment to celebrating their main asset, Lake Michigan.


Wisconsin Engineering Excellence State Finalist Award – 2016