Options include a detour and staged construction
BY EILEEN PERSIKE
Before the roundabout can be constructed at the US 8 and WIS 47 intersection in Rhinelander, the Department of Transportation must figure out how to reroute traffic while the work is being done. Representatives from the DOT and Ayres Associates presented two options to the public Tuesday: staged construction or a detour.
Jed Peters of the DOT said there are many factors to be considered when making a choice, including input from the public.
“For an intersection, we’re looking at operation, overall construction that impacts the duration, the cost and the safety,” Peters said.
Staged construction means constructing an alternate temporary intersection while work on the roundabout takes place and it would close Kemp Street for two to three months. Andy Dana, with Ayres, told the audience the level of service with the staged construction, using a scale of “A” being excellent and “F” being extremely congested, would be as high as a “C” and as low as “E.” Construction of a temporary road and intersection is estimated to cost $200,000.
The detour option, Peters said, is less costly, functions better, is more efficient, costs slightly less, and takes less construction.
“It looks like it might be preferred,” Peters said. “But to go with that detour alternative, it is something we have to get approval from the city and the county on because it involves their roadways.”
Peters added that the DOT has met with the city and the county, discussed “what their concerns might be, what they might need to see in order for us to make use of their facilities.”
To view the two temporary options, or to comment before July 10, visit the DOT website.
Peters said the DOT will weigh public input along with city and county input before making a decision by mid to late July on which traffic management alternative to use.
The DOT announced in February that a roundabout would be constructed at the 8/47 intersection, citing improved safely, increased efficiency and mobility, and that it is a lower cost alternative than a new reconstructed signalized intersection that was also considered.
The drawings on display at Tuesday’s public involvement meeting included right turn lanes from US 8 W to US 8 E /WIS 47 and from Kemp Street to WIS 47.
The construction of the roundabout construction is reported to be $2 million to $2.5 million.