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County committee OKs Hwy. I upgrades PDF Print E-mail
Written by JOE POIRIER   
Wednesday, 27 September 2017 17:21

Public Works officials approve plans for $2 million project designed to make ‘roller coaster’ road safer

    The Ozaukee County Public Works Committee has approved plans for a $2 million Highway I project intended to make the “roller coaster” of a road in the Town of Fredonia safer.
    The project consists of reconstructing and resurfacing 2.2 miles of Highway I from Highway A/H north to Belgium Kohler Road.
    “I call it the roller coaster ride. It’s a steep grade that wiggles back and forth before it comes to the bottom of the hill,” Public Works Director Jon Edgren said.
    “We’re going to bring the roadway up to Department of Transportation standards, which is a three-foot asphalt and a three-foot gravel shoulder that will give people the ability to correct their driving if they begin to veer. It also gives the ability for tractors to pull off the road a little more when cars are coming. It will also improve the safety for walkers and bikers.”
    The work along the south section of Highway I from Highway A/H to Highway Z includes pavement overlay and widening of the shoulder.
    From Fredonia Kohler Road to Belgium Kohler Road, the work will consist of reconstructing the existing roadway and widening the shoulder.
    During the meeting, three options were discussed for the middle portion of the project at the intersection of highways I and Z. The committee unanimously approved the option that keeps the existing alignment of both roads and the intersection.
    “There would be some improvement on the corners, but overall the alignment will stay the same,” Edgren said.  
    The other two options included straightening the alignment.
    Edgren noted there will be no roadwork done at Stony Hill School, a restored one-room schoolhouse that is the birthplace of Flag Day and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
     “It’s an architectural and historic property,” he said. “If I touch an ounce of that dirt it becomes a four-year-long project.”
    Edgren said a 50-foot easement will be required for the realignment along highways I and Z. Currently, there is a 33-foot easement for properties adjacent to the highways. During the meeting, several residents voiced their concerns about extending the easement onto their properties.
    “There’s always room for negotiation. At this point, we haven’t made a final determination yet,” Edgren said.
    Residents also voiced concerns about the various speed limits near Stony Hill and adding stop signs.
    “Why not add a stop sign at the Fredonia and Kohler intersection? Why not reduce the speed limit to something reasonable? The speed limits by the Stony Hill make no sense whatsoever,” Town of Fredonia resident Mark Miller said.
    Edgren said a traffic study will be conducted, and speed limits will be revised.
    “But the installation of stop signs and lowering the speed limits do not inherently make the roadways safer,” he said.
    The project is expected to begin during the summer of 2018 and completed by the late fall.
    The cost of the project is about $2 million, $1.5 million of which will be paid by the county and the remainder by the state.

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