Proposed work in 2019 could include roundabout
BY KEVIN BONESKE
A public meeting on planned improvements to the Hwy. 8 and 47 intersection in Rhinelander has been set for Dec. 12 from 5:30-7 p.m. at City Hall.
According to a letter sent last month from Wisconsin Department of Transportation project manager Dan Erva, the purpose of the meeting is to discuss issues identified at the intersection, which include:
- The operational characteristics of the intersection that are contributing to safety concerns and crashes. For 2012-16, there were 28 crashes at this location, resulting in one fatality and eight injuries. Half of the crashes resulted from left-turning vehicles colliding with oncoming traffic.
- The pavement is deteriorating.
- Drainage under the intersection needs to be improved to optimize pavement stability.
In addition to discussing the identified needs, Erva said the meeting will review alternatives currently under consideration, which include a signalized intersection with offset left-turn lanes or a roundabout intersection.
Erva said both intersection alternatives will replace the deteriorated pavement and improve drainage by raising the grade of the intersection. He also noted construction on the intersection is currently scheduled for 2019.
The proposed intersection work was also discussed at Monday’s city Public Works Committee meeting.
“Over time the DOT has recognized the hazards involved with the intersection,” said city public works director Tim Kingman, who noted representatives of the city, Oneida County and state DOT have been meeting to put together a timetable for the intersection project.
Kingman said the DOT will be presenting some drawings, which will include what the intersection could look like with a roundabout.
“Nobody’s fixed on a roundabout,” Kingman said. “However, it is a good area, or has ample space to do something like that. And (the DOT) will receive city input on it.”