Several large projects are planned for state and county roads in the Town of Westport starting in 2023. Westport’s Town Administrator, Attorney, Clerk-Treasurer, Tom Wilson, outlined these during a talk with Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce Director Ellen Schaaf recorded in February.
Traditionally, the Chamber hosts its annual breakfast where the newly elected board of directors are introduced, and outgoing board members are honored. Representatives from member businesses also hear updates from school and municipal leaders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chamber recorded talks to view on its YouTube channel.
In his discussion with Schaaf, Wilson talked about upcoming state and county road projects at Hwy. M from Oncken Road to Hwy. 113, Hwy. 113 from Knutson Drive in Madison to the roundabout at Hwys. 19 and I and Hwy. 113 from just north of Century Avenue to Hwy. V.
One of the more complex projects, spanning 2.5 miles of Hwy. M, will create four lanes from Oncken Road to Willow Road with several intersection improvements. The project also includes a two-lane roundabout with bypass lanes at the intersection with Hwy. K, according to a presentation on the Dane County Highway Department’s website.
The plans also call for relocating the Hwy. M and North Shore Bay Drive intersection, along with a number of intersection improvements at Oncken Road, Woodland Drive, Mary Lake Road and Willow Drive.
For bicyclists and pedestrians, the project brings path and trail connections along Hwy. M. Eventually, trail connections will be made between Madison, Middleton and Waunakee.
That project is still in the design phase with the final design expected to be presented this fall and construction to begin in 2023. Land will need to be acquired for the easements, as well. A public information meeting is planned for this fall. The Wisconsin Department (DOT) of Transportation will oversee the $22-million to $26-million project and will utilize federal transportation funds.
To learn more about the project, visit https://highway.countyofdane.com/highway-projects.
Hwy. 113 south
In the southern part of Westport, the DOT plans to improve Hwy. 113 from Knutson Drive in Madison to the roundabout at Hwys. 19 and I in Westport.
The preliminary plans call for replacing the pavement, repairs at the bridge over the Yahara River, constructing turn-lanes and traffic signal upgrades at the Hwy. 113 and River Road intersection and updating curb ramps.
For local residents, the good news is the intersection improvement at the Hwy. 113 with Arboretum Drive to the west and Bong Road to the east.
In a presentation on the DOT’s website, a recorded video notes that the intersection has “demonstrated a history of severe crashes.”
Between 2015-2019, 15 crashes were recorded at the intersection, 13 resulting in injuries. Most of the crashes were rearend with Hwy. 113 northbound or with southbound left-turning vehicles.
The improvement most likely to reduce the number of severe and injury-related crashes is a roundabout at the intersection, the presentation notes. The plan is for a single-lane roundabout with a bike ramp. It is also projected to improve traffic conditions and come with a lower construction costs.
Construction was initially planned for 2025 but rescheduled to 2023 due to safety concerns. A virtual public involvement session was held in February about the project, and Steven Theisen, communications manager for WisDOT, said local officials and residents provided comment.
“The community, certainly, they’ve been great advocates for the project, and working through the proper channels, involving local officials and state officials, as well, and that has really allowed everyone to work in a collaborative effort to make sure this project is done in a timely manner to really address that safety and mobility through that segment of 113,” Theisen said.
A second public involvement session is scheduled for the fall.
For more information about this project and to view the presentation prepared for the previous session, visit wisconsindot.gov and search for projects in the Southwest Region.
Hwy. 113 north
On the north side of the Waunakee-Westport area, the DOT plans to replace pavement on Hwy. 113 from Sunset Lane to Hwy. V and replace the bridge over Six Mile Creek with a wider structure to meet future traffic projections. It also includes new guardrails and improvements to the railroad crossing.
Construction is anticipated in summer of 2024. More information about that project can be found on the DOT’s website, wisconsindot.gov, as well.
New Chamber of Commerce Board elected
The COVID-19 pandemic took the fanfare from the announcement of the new members serving the Chamber’s board of directors although Schaaf also talked with outgoing president Troy Salisbury of State Farm Insurance and incoming president Kevin Piette of the State Bank of Cross Plains, who is returning in that role.
The other newly elected board of directors are: Maria Fitz-Gibbon of Leap Academy; Brent Bickel of North Ridge Church; Michael Steinl of Wegner CPAs, treasurer; Kari Beam of Trending NOW Promotions, secretary; Susan Rather of BrightStar Senior Living; Nick Agopian of RenewAire, president elect; Kevin McDaniel of IT Strategies Group; Chris Jelenc of Third Coast Advisors; Troy Salisbury of State Farm Insurance, Chris Kenney of Minuteman Press; and David Weishoff of David’s Certified Auto Repair. Wilson, with Village Administrator Todd Schmidt and Waunakee school district Administrator Randy Guttenberg, serve as non-elected members.