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WIS 29 (County FF-County U) Freeway Conversion - Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
FAQs - General | FAQs - J-turns
- Why isn’t WisDOT considering other locations for interchanges and overpasses?
- When will construction begin?
- Why is WisDOT investigating shifting County U to the east or west?
- If the Corridor Preservation Plan had significant public input, why is WisDOT looking at changing the Milltown Road connection?
- Why is Golden Pond Park Court being moved?
- It looks like my property will be affected by this project. How will this work?
- My property currently has standing water in the spring and after heavy rains – will this project make the flooding worse?
- Will this project include sidewalks and bicycle accommodations?
- What happens next?
Why isn't WisDOT considering other locations for interchanges and overpasses?
A Corridor Preservation Plan study was completed in 2008. The purpose of that study was to work with area communities and stakeholders to improve safety and mobility in the area by determining access locations to/from WIS 29 (interchanges) and across WIS 29 (overpasses with no access to WIS 29).
This study included a comprehensive public outreach effort. The results of this study concluded the need for interchanges at Brown County FF and County VV, overpasses at N. Pine Tree Road extended and County U, along with closing the intersection to WIS 29 at Sunlite Drive and Woodland Road. The locations were reaffirmed with area communities in early 2011, and no new information was obtained that warranted revisiting the original study recommendations.
When will construction begin?
Construction of the WIS 29/Brown County FF interchange and closure of the Sunlite Drive/Woodland Road/WIS 29 intersection is scheduled to start in late 2013.
Funding for construction of the Brown County U overpass, the County VV interchange, and the N. Pine Tree Road overpass has not been obtained. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is moving forward with preparation of construction plans and real estate acquisition to allow these improvements to be constructed as soon as funding is available.
Because there is no definite timeline for Brown County U and County VV, WisDOT has allocated funds to construct interim safety measures at these two intersections beginning in summer 2013. Turning movements from Brown County U will be restricted to right-in/right-out. WIS 29 traffic will still be able to turn left or right onto County U. This will be similar to the configuration of the existing WIS 29/Brown County J intersection to the east.
The Brown County VV/WIS 29 intersection will be modified in a similar manner, but will also be equipped with J-turns. J-turns will be installed in the median to allow County VV and Marley/Milltown Road traffic to travel either way on WIS 29.
- View answers to J-turn FAQs
Why isn't WisDOT investigating shifting County U to the east or west?
Several design details outlined in the original Corridor Preservation Study required further investigation, including steep driveways, poor visibility, and roadway slopes close to homes. These issues identified the need to relocate several residences on both sides of County U.
As part of the design process, attempts were made to minimize adverse impacts to property owners and to wetlands. We investigated whether shifting County U either east or west would reduce or eliminate the need to relocate residences. All four alternative alignments for County U require residential relocations and are being presented to obtain feedback from the public on which alternative should be selected for construction.
If the Corridor Preservation Plan had significant public input, why is WisDOT looking at changing the Milltown Road connection?
As with County U, several issues arose during development of more detailed design plans. Wetlands were identified near the intersection of Marley Road and Millwood Court, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources requested that the design avoid impacting them, unless no other reasonable alternative is available.
Also, the original layout resulted in unsafe conditions for driveways in the vicinity.
Finally, the village of Howard is also updating its comprehensive land use plans, and alternatives were developed to accommodate the long-term vision for this area. The alternatives are being presented to obtain feedback from the public on which alternative best meets the long-term needs of the area.
Why is Golden Pond Park Court being moved?
Golden Pond Park Court must be extended to the south to maintain safety at and around the new County FF interchange. Safety standards require that the nearest intersection to a freeway ramp be no closer than 1,300 feet from the ramps to reduce conflicts. The new location for Golden Pond Park Court meets this standard, and joins County FF at the location of Navajo Trail, reducing the overall number of intersections.
Second, the new County FF interchange will feature a bridge over WIS 29, meaning that the entire roadway must be raised up to clear the state highway. At the present intersection of Golden Pond Park Court and County FF, the road will be more than 20 feet higher than it is currently. This would mean extremely steep slopes on Golden Pond Park Court if the intersection were to remain.
It looks like my property will be affected by this project. How will this work?
One of the main objectives in designing these changes is to minimize the hardships on property owners. WisDOT is evaluating those impacts and will be working with the designers and property owners to develop plans with the fewest possible impacts.
Property owners affected by the County FF interchange and the closure of the Sunlite Drive/Woodland Road/WIS 29 intersection will be contacted by WisDOT beginning in early 2012 to discuss the property acquisition process.
My property currently has standing water in the spring and after heavy rains – will this project make the flooding worse?
Spring 2011 has been very wet and many property owners are concerned with flooding on their properties. The improvements included in this project will be designed to accommodate any increased runoff from new roadway pavement.
This project will not eliminate flooding in areas that currently experience flooding. As part of the project, we will work with the local communities to identify drainage issues and look for opportunities to reduce drainage problems.
Will this project include sidewalks and bicycle accommodations?
Yes. Sidewalks are planned to be constructed along County VV, Milltown Road, N. Pine Tree Road, and County FF, including on bridges. Bicycles will be accommodated along these roadways by widening the driving lane to provide a safer facility for bicyclists. Separated bicycle/pedestrian paths were not identified as a need by area communities along these roadways.
County U will be constructed with a paved shoulder similar to the roadway outside of the project’s construction limits. The County U bridge over WIS 29 will be designed with a raised sidewalk to accommodate a future urban roadway section. Also, the County U structure will accommodate snowmobiles for crossing WIS 29, replacing the existing at-grade trail crossing west of County U.
What happens next?
Over the next six months, the project team will be working with local stakeholders to evaluate alternatives and their impacts on travelers, communities, the area economy, and the environment. This process will culminate in the preparation of an Environmental Report that summarizes those impacts and shows how a recommended alternative has been designed to avoid and minimize adverse impacts. Once that document has been reviewed by state and federal agencies, WisDOT will move forward with real estate acquisition and final design.
Construction on the County FF interchange and improvements to the County U and County VV intersections are scheduled to begin in 2013. Three more public information meetings are scheduled over the next two years to keep you informed about the project.
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Last modified: June 28, 2013
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