Last project of the year targets busy intersection

By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

Those oftentimes dreaded orange cones appearing on people’s daily commutes are coming to one of Grafton’s busiest intersections, but it’s not as bad as it might sound.

The village is undertaking a project at 12th Avenue and Washington Street (Highway 60) that will actually improve traffic flow.

The traffic signals at the intersection are having a feature added so they can be preempted by emergency vehicles, Director of Public Works Amber Thomas said.

That, she said, is “so emergency vehicles can control signals to pass through quicker. Our fire department up the street does use that intersection quite a bit.”

Electrical portions of pedestrian crosswalks are also being updated.

The traffic signal pole at the northwest corner is being replaced after it has been damaged several times by accidents, Thomas said.

In addition, signal lights are being preempted along Washington Street at 17th Avenue and Cheyenne Avenue, Thomas said, “for emergency control through all our lights on Highway 60.”

The intersection at 12th Avenue had limited options.

“There’s no way to expand lanes. We did a really close look at where the traffic is traveling each day,” Thomas said.

The project is slated to start next week and shouldn’t have a significant impact on traffic flow, she said.

“Our plan is to have all lanes of traffic open,” Thomas said. “Maybe the double lanes will be down to one lane during peak hours.”

The $80,000 project is in the village budget, Thomas said, and 90% of it will be paid back through a Signals and ITS Standalone Program grant Grafton received in 2021. The grant also applies to $20,000 in design costs the village did last year, Thomas said.

The project, she said, is “the last big project of the year.”

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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