The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) held a public involvement meeting Jan. 22 at the Poynette Civic Hall to discuss upcoming U.S. Highway 51 construction plans.

The scope of the project covers nearly 11 miles of U.S. Highway 51 from Tomlinson Road in Poynette to Ontario Street in Portage. According to WisDOT, the project has three main focuses: the deteriorating pavement, accessibility and beam guard deficiencies.

Ben Weigand, project engineer for Benesch will be doing the project, said the pavement is thinning out and project will include milling out five inches of asphalt in Poynette and replacing it with four inches of as new asphalt. Out of town and near Portage will have two inches milled out and four inches put back. In addition, there will be a new asphalt overlay added to the bridge over Duck Creek.

Curb ramps are also scheduled to be brought up to ADA standards in Poynette. The village and Poynette School District are also planning upcoming street projects, including construction across North Street, which will overlap with the U.S. Highway 51 project. Weigand said he has met with the school district to ensure the two projects come together.

“We’ll be connecting our curb ramps,” he said. “Making sure it works with their project.”

There are also plans to replace current guardrails along the length of the project due to being a substandard type. According to WisDot, while there have been no crashes attributed to these guardrails, it is cost effective to replace them.

Weigand said traffic is expected to stay mostly open during construction. He said there are two railroad crossings that may be replaced as part of the project, which could include detours.

The project is estimated to cost $1.5-2 million. It is currently scheduled for 2023 but could be started a year earlier depending on other Highway 51 projects.

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