Supply issues slow Hwy. 33 roundabout work

Improvements at accident-plagued intersection to be completed by Oct. 14 or sooner if materials are available
Ozaukee Press staff

The Department of Transportation hopes to complete the Highway 33 roundabout in the Town of Saukville by Friday, Oct. 14.

Michael Pyritz, a spokesman for the DOT, said Friday that the agency had hoped to complete the work by the end of this week but supply chain issues have slowed progress.

“We’re going to try to be open before that (Oct. 14),” Pyritz said. “We’re hopeful we can get it done sooner. It comes down to if and when these materials come in.”

The DOT has had issues obtaining the needed lighting fixtures for the intersection, he said.

Once crews have the fixtures, they still need to do trenching, install the conduit and control boxes to bring the power to the roundabout and erect the light poles, he added.

In general, Pyritz said, work on the project has gone smoothly. The crews lost a few days to weather and some poor soils needed to be remediated, but otherwise there haven’t been many delays.

Crews are currently working to pave the intersection, something he said should be completed by Friday.

“We’re making good progress,” he said.

Although most drivers have obeyed the detours, Pyritz said, there are some who have dodged the barricades and are driving through the work zone.

“It’s dangerous for the motorists and the workers,” he said. “There’s still equipment all over the place.”

The DOT is working with law enforcement officials to handle the situation, he added.

Pyritz noted that even though it may seem like the intersection has been closed for an eternity, the project has been a relatively quick one.

“We started fairly late in the year to fully change the road,” he said, noting it didn’t close until after the Fourth of July holiday.

The project, which Pyritz said earlier this year was “a number of years in the making and is something that’s strongly supported,” was sparked by safety concerns after a series of serious, sometimes fatal, accidents in recent years. There were three fatalities at the intersection from 2016 to 2019, all involving motorcycles.

And a DOT study showed there were 24 crashes at the crossing from January 2014 through September 2020, with 74% resulting in injuries or death.

The DOT studied the issues and selected the single-lane roundabout as the preferred alternative to deal with the problems.

“The long-term benefits are going to be fantastic,” Pyritz said. “People are definitely warming up to roundabouts. They see the benefits.”




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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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