Highland Drive Project Overview


Latest update from Madison Utilities (9/29/21):

The contractor has completed all pipe laying and all customer meter connections. They are making final system connections at Inwood Trail on 9/29, Lauren Circle 9/30, and Old Madison Pike on 10/2. Madison Utilities has given the contractor a punch list to address before they receive final payment, including the following:

1. Address unsatisfactory yard repairs
2. Remove abandoned hydrants
3. Survey water main at various points on the alignment (which will involve minimal excavation)
4. Finish remaining concrete repairs
5. Other general clean up items

Madison Utilities expects the contractor to complete these items over the next couple weeks and be finished by October 15th. The City of Madison appreciates patience through this important infrastructure improvement that will ensure safe, long-term water supply to residents.

Highland Drive Proposed Striping

The City of Madison along with Madison Utilities are currently working on major projects along Highland Drive. Madison Utilities is replacing the water main line, and in coordination of the project, the City will be improving infrastructure by removing speed bumps for ease of emergency EMS and Fire vehicles. This page provides resources to our residents on the project plans and status. 

The City of Madison's Engineering Presentation on Traffic Calming and Roundabouts

Madison Utilities Highland Drive Project Status

FAQs on the Highland Drive Project:

Q: After the Town Hall and receiving feedback from residents, what additions or changes to the original plan for Highland Drive repaving have been made? 



  • Stop signs will remain where they are. Mini-roundabouts will not be utilized.  
  • Crosswalks will be added to designate “safe routes to school.”  
  • Public works will evaluate all sidewalks after Madison Utilities finish the water main replacement and repair any that are needed. Residents are reminded of the “Let Us Know” feature on the City webpage to report when sidewalks are in need of repair to help pedestrians who will want to utilize sidewalks.  
  • Striping will be utilized to narrow vehicle traffic and add parking lanes on both side of Highland Drive that can also be utilized by bike riders and pedestrians.

Q: Why are you removing speed bumps on Highland Drive?  

A:  Speed humps were initially installed to reduce speed without regard to other consequences. Emergency response had become compromised and the new traffic calming policy was developed to slow traffic without reducing emergency response time. Current speed humps are being removed as the streets are resurfaced and will not be automatically reinstalled. Follow up studies are done to determine if traffic calming is needed after resurfacing and traffic calming measures applied to reduce speed. Speed humps are the last option that is considered in future traffic calming measures. 


Q: What steps will you take to reduce traffic speed on Highland Drive after speed bumps are removed?  

A:  Two measures are being implemented for Highland Drive. It is currently an unstriped three lane road, and it will be striped as a two-lane road with street side parking. Engineering reports have indicated a reduction in speed when traffic is channelized by striping. 


Q: Can you add bike paths on either side of Highland Drive after you repave it?  

A:  The traffic volume and mix already makes the street meet complete street requirements. We do not have the width to add bike lanes to the existing street. Bike riders and runners can use the striped parking areas which will get them out of most of the traffic lanes. 


Q: Will the sidewalks remain on Highland Drive?  

A:  Yes 


Q:  Will Highland Drive remain open while work is being done to re-pave it? 

A:  Yes 


Q: How long will it take to re-pave Highland Drive after the water main is replaced? 

A: Approximately one month once the repaving begins. 


Q: When Madison Utilities completes the water main replacement, will it wait until the entire project is complete before returning residents’ yards to the condition they were in before the repair? 

A: No, Madison Utilities will repair all yards with seed or sod as each section of the water main is repaired. 


Q: Some residents have questioned the technique being used to replace the water main. What method is being used and why? 

A:  We are laying a new main and abandoning the old PVC main in place. Other methods are not ideal in this location for multiple reasons.  First, all new water mains Madison must be made of ductile iron pipe.  Other methods, such as pipe bursting, are installed with fusible pipe, like HDPE, which does not meet our specifications. In addition, when repairs were made to the PVC pipe over the years, a metal pipe or repair clamp was installed, which would make pipe bursting much more difficult. Finally, trenchless methods like pipe bursting require temporary pipes and service connections above ground, which would significantly impact the speed and cost of the project. This project, as designed, will result in the best final product.

Q: The 2040 Transportation Plan shows a graphic with right of way improvements. Are those dimensions shown in the graphic (displayed below) planned for Highland Drive after the water main is repaired?

A: The 2040 Transportation Master Plan is a planning document and is not part of this maintenance project. This document is intended to guide future development. 

Master Plan Image for Highland Dr FAQ