Roundabout estimated to cost $1 million less than signalized intersection
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Ayres Associates were on hand Tuesday evening at City Hall for a public meeting on improvements planned for 2019 on the US 8 and WIS 47 intersection in Rhinelander.
Members of the public present for the meeting were able to ask questions and provide comments about the proposed alternatives to improve the intersection, which include a signalized intersection or reconstructing the intersection as a roundabout.
In addition to the deteriorating pavement at the intersection, the information the DOT provided at the meeting noted safety is also an issue with 39 crashes reported there between 2012 and 2016, with 17 of the crashes the so-called “T-bone” variety involving left-turning vehicles, and the free-flow, right-turn slip ramps for the intersection not meeting current standards.
Andy Dana of Ayers Associates pointed out the features of the two alternatives, also noting the estimated cost of the single-lane roundabout would be about $1 million less – $2 million to $2.5 million, compared to $3 million to $3.6 million for the signalized intersection.
Those attending the meeting were able to fill out a comment form to provide their input. Comments on the project are also being accepted through Dec. 30. Those comments may be sent to Dan Erva at the DOT’s office at 510 N. Hanson Lake Road in Rhinelander or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org .gov
The DOT’s timeline for the project calls for selecting an alternative in January, announcing the preferred alternative in February, completing the environmental document next February/March, completing the design next summer and then construction in the spring/summer of 2019.
The DOT indicated it is anticipating work to begin in the spring of 2019 and take approximately eight months to complete. Motorists can expect to encounter temporary traffic signals, lane closures and flagging operations during construction. West Kemp Street may be detoured during construction via WIS 17 and Boyce Drive for approximately two months.