WIS 26 corridor EIS - Selection of preferred alternative, Central segment
The central segment begins at the south Fort Atkinson Bypass
interchange and ends at Baneck Lane north of Johnson Creek. This
segment is about 17.5 miles in length, and includes the city of
The preferred alternative is C2, the near west Jefferson bypass
corridor, with two modifications.
One modification moved the alignment of the highway in the area
between Ft. Atkinson and Jefferson to just west of the Union Pacific
Railroad. This alignment eliminated the potential for conflict with
the Ft. Atkinson airport, and preserves an environmentally sensitive
area called the Jefferson Railroad Prairie. This modification allows
existing WIS 26 to remain between Jefferson and Ft. Atkinson to
function as a local county highway.
The second modification was to move the US 18 interchange closer
to the Jefferson city limits. The interchange is now located about
1,100 feet west of the Crawfish River, and the highway more closely
follows farm property lines.
A near west Jefferson bypass alternative is preferred as it
provides transportation and other benefits that the near east bypass
does not provide, including:
Traffic flow is generally more oriented to Madison and Lake
Mills than it is towards Helenville. A west bypass route best
serves this desired westerly traffic flow.
Three schools (elementary, middle and high) are just east of
the Crawfish River. The Jefferson Performing Arts Center with
regularly scheduled performances is at the high school. The
County Fairgrounds has over 150 events throughout the year, some
which attract 40-50,000 daily visitors. These facilities
generate substantial traffic from outside Jefferson, and are
best served with a west bypass.
A west bypass eliminates the safety concerns over pedestrian
circulation in and around the St. Coletta properties east of
A west bypass has a diamond interchange at US 18, while a near
east bypass has a partial cloverleaf interchange to better
address the pedestrian safety for attendees of St. Coletta. A
diamond interchange is more easily understood by the traveling
motorist, and requires less land to construct.
US 18 has an existing 80 foot right of way width on the west
side of the city, and 66 feet on the east side. The wider width
permits safer movement of traffic between the downtown area and
the bypass, and better accommodates future roadway improvements.
The near west route impacts about half the amount of wetland
acres as compared to the near east alternative.
The near east route severs farms on a diagonal, thereby
leaving more difficult pie-shaped remnants for farming
A near west route has eight fewer residential relocations than
the near east alternative.