Project Profile: Waushara County, WI

Multiple Sterling/MAS Solutions Balance Wetlands Conditions, Protect Endangered Wildlife and Support the Local Economy.

By Jon Keener,  Environmental Manager

Sterling’s new TerraLam 500 Cross-Laminated Timber Mat was the hero at this job site near Wautoma, Wisconsin. The wetland onsite was covered by approximately 2-8 inches of standing water.  The matting strategy called for a mixture of TerraLam 500 CLT mats in 4’x16’ and 8’x16’ sizes. The team installed these is a double-layer configuration with overlapping seams to prevent water and sediment from passing through seams and onto the mat road surface. 

While the revolutionary mats accomplished the client’s temporary access and ground protection goals, there were other unique challenges at this site. First, the area is home to several known protected species including the Karner Blue Butterfly (Federally Listed Endangered), Slender Glass Lizard (State Listed Endangered), and Blanding’s Turtle (State Listed Special Concern). An additional challenge was the timing of the job which was scheduled to coincide with the 9-day Whitetail Deer rifle hunting season. This hunting event is a coveted event in Wisconsin, not only for tradition’s sake but also because it has a significant impact on the state’s economy.

What were Sterling’s solutions to these project obstacles? Click on the link below to read more. In order to protect the Karner Blue Butterfly, Sterling’s Midwest Access Solutions team relied on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Habitat Conservation Plan, developed through a partnership between the client and the US Fish and Wildlife Federation.  Project managers delayed work in the sensitive Wisconsin habitat until the butterfly’s dormant season.  This pause also allowed for hibernation to occur for the area’s other at-risk wildlife species, the Slender Glass Lizard and Blanding’s Turtle.  Additionally, the wetland’s vegetation was able go dormant for the winter.

With regards to the whitetail deer hunting season, the team discovered the job site’s Right-of-Way was within sight of 5 hunting stands.  Midwest Access Solutions modified their plan to install the temporary access road prior to hunting season and left it in place after the work was completed so that hunters would not be disturbed by construction activity.  This adjustment created no additional cost to the client and the popular hunting tradition proceeded as usual.

Once the TerraLam 500 mats were installed at the Waushara County site, MAS ensured that they performed as specified for the client. The team efficiently leveraged their signature stiffness and ability to evenly distribute the work load on a temporary road surface despite unstable wetland soil conditions..