Last Updated: 06/07/2023

Latest Update 

6/6/2023 Update:
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Project Overview 

The City of Madison, like many communities, has seen a recent increase in extreme flood events. This increase has occurred most notably in Madison since 2016, when a large and intense rain event in late July caused extensive flooding of public and private property on Madison’s west side. Large events in July 2017 and June 2018 caused similar flooding, again largely focused on Madison’s west side.

On August 20, 2018, Dane County experienced an unusual precipitation event that caused flooding in excess of that seen in any of the prior events mentioned. Rain gages monitoring that event registered between 8-10” of precipitation on its west side over (approximately) a 12-hr period. Many of Madison’s west side neighborhoods experienced flash flooding, resulting in millions of dollars in property damage.

In response to the damage incurred, as well as the likely increasing frequency of such events due to climate change, the Madison Common Council authorized the City of Madison Engineering Division (City Engineering) to develop watershed models and plans for watersheds in the City. The redesign of this pond and greenway system is a solution resulting from of one of these studies.

In the spring of 2023 the City finished a watershed study for the Pheasant Branch watershed that encompasses this area. The purpose of that study was to evaluate existing conditions in the watershed and look for solutions for flood reduction. The Old Sauk Trails Business Park and surrounding businesses have repeatedly flooded. The proposed solutions for this watershed study show that significantly increasing storage within the Old Sauk Trails Business Park existing pond system and improving conveyance (how quickly water can move through) to the system with larger pipes and re-graded greenways will allow the City to reach its flood targets. The solution in the Pheasant Branch watershed study report is called, “Old Sauk Trails Business Park Ponds and Greenway Reconstruction.” The City applied for a FEMA Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant to construct the project, and was pre-selected for $6M in grant funding.

You can learn more about the BRIC grant by watching FEMA’s video:

The City of Madison hired Mergent to complete the flood mitigation and restoration design.

Project Limits

Pheasant Branch Reconstruction Map
Pheasant Branch Enhancement Project Area Larger Map

This project will re-grade the ponds between Excelsior Drive and Deming Way. It will also re-grade the greenways between the Beltline (HWY 12-14) and the pond system. The project will upsize the following storm sewer:

  • Deming Way culvert crossing near 934 Deming Way
  • Storm sewer from the Blackhawk Deming Way intersection in between 1111 and 1117 Deming Way
  • The culvert under Fourier Dr
  • The culvert under Deming Way on the downstream (north) side of the pond

Project Schedule

The City anticipates outreach and design to occur in 2023 and 2024, and construction to occur in 2025 and 2026.

Public Involvement

There are a number of points of contact during this project where the public is encouraged to give feedback as part of public information meetings and public hearings. Dates, times and locations are indicated below:

Public Information Meetings

When a virtual public meeting is scheduled, the details will be posted here.  

If you need an interpreter, translator, materials in alternate formats or other accommodations to access this service, activity or program, please call Jojo O’Brien of the Engineering Division at 608-266-9721.

Si necesita un intérprete, un traductor, materiales en formatos alternativos u otros arreglos para acceder a este servicio, actividad o programa, comuníquese inmediatamente al número de teléfono que figura a continuación.

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City Process, Meetings

Common Council : More information will be posted when available.
Board of Public WorksMore information will be posted when available.