Planned improvements to County Hwy. DM and Clinton Road in 2020 could help alleviate some of the flooding issues in Morrisonville, but probably not all of them.

“It’s very challenging, as everybody knows, because Morrisonville is so flat,” said Windsor Village President Bob Wipperfurth, speaking at an open house Tuesday, Dec. 17, at village hall, where an update on the projects was provided.

About 25 residents, most of them from Morrisonville, were in attendance.

Village Engineer Jerry Groth, from Baxter & Woodman Consulting Engineers, conducted most of the presentation, along with Ryan Wallace, the project manager who also worked for Baxter & Woodman.

Work is expected to begin in late spring of next year, with completion anticipated for around Halloween. It’s a joint project between Dane County and the village, who have been in negotiations regarding the project for three years.

The county wanted Windsor to take over responsibility for maintaining County Hwy. DM. A compromise was struck, as the county will continue to maintain anything in the actual roadway of DM.

Prepared plans and specifications are complete. The projects are expected to go out for bidding in February, with potential contractors submitting their bids in March, which is when the village will review bids received. That month, both the public works committee and village board will both study them in anticipation of village board approval.

The winning bidder will then receive notice of the award and be given the go-ahead to proceed in April. The construction period will last from April to October.

An overview of the project shows that there will be a complete road reconstruction from Ramsey Road to the Yahara River Bridge, with watermain and storm drainage improvements included. Resurfacing work will stretch from the Yahara River Bridge to the county line.

Looking at just County Hwy. DM, a complete roadway reconstruction, with watermain and minor storm drainage work, will take place from Ramsey Road to the Yahara River Bridge. Several drainageway improvements are included. Isolated sections will receive full curb and gutter, with concrete valley gutters primarily being installed. Limited storm sewer work will also be undertaken, primarily at intersections “to pick up water at low spots,” said Wallace. There will also be adjacent drainageway modifications.

Sidewalk work is also planned. On the north side, sidewalk will be extended west to the last property and east to East Street. On the south side, the project calls for installation of sidewalk from Clinton Road to the park in Morrisonville. A zig-zagging ditch from County Hwy. DM to Ramsey Road and out to the Yahara River is a focus of the work, which in part involves regrading it to re-establish consistent slopes.

“At minimum, what we’re trying to do is clean them up,” said Wallace. That is expected to help efforts to carry water away from the Morrisonville area to the Yahara River.

More ditch cleaning and regrading is slated for the east side of Morrisonville Road north of County Hwy. DM and from an area near the Lutheran church in Morrisonville from DM to the Yahara River.

As for Clinton Road, from the south end of the urban area to DM, there will be a complete road reconstruction, with watermain and storm drainage work. It also includes a reconstruction of Willow Street. A ditch from Willow Street to DM will be cleaned out and regraded, while ditches are expected to be added within the village’s right-of-way on Willow.

The origins of the project go back to 2017, when a storm water study of the area was conducted. It covered 115 acres, three basins and 14 sub-basins. It included storm modeling for 10-year, 25-year and 100-year storm events and took into account the influence the level of the Yahara River had on those models. Baxter & Woodman, who conducted the study, recommended drainage improvements for the north and south basins in the area reviewed. The biggest concern, however, is the west basin, according to Groth. It draws down through the park in Morrisonville to the Yahara River. The area experiences flooding even in a 10-year storm model and that flooding is increasing.

Some potential storm water drainage improvements were considered. Grass-lined drainage swales are being recommended.

Preliminary designs for the road work arrived in 2018 and an open house on what to do with Clinton Road was held that year.

Other storm water drainage improvement ideas came later. One included installing a very large storm pipe northwest to Yahara, but was rejected because of the “phenomenal cost,” said Groth. Detention basins were also considered, but officials indicated there was not a lot of good elevation for such provisions.

“There’s not a lot of bang for the buck,” said Groth.

In the end, it was determined that cleaning and realigning ditch from DM to Ramsey Road was the best option, along with installing some concrete valley gutter – which can hold water, as opposed to ribbon gutter – and limited storm sewer. In response to a question about whether the project would create larger culverts, Wallace responded, “None will be smaller. They will at least match the original pipe.”

Officials noted that there will have to be some negotiations between the village and some property owners to have the village take care of maintenance of ditches.

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