Public may get next peek at Highway 45 project early next year

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Surveying is going on now, but it may be late this winter — say February or March — before the public gets its next peek at what the state has planned for the Highway 45 rebuild project.

Between now and then, the village will also want to decide how it feels about adding sidewalks, bike paths and recreational trails and maybe even street trees to the plans.

Village administrator Randy Kerkman reported at Monday’s regular Village Board meeting that he recently had a meeting with state Department of Transportation officials about the project.

At the meeting, DOT representatives said surveying is going on now to enable the state to develop more precise plans that could be ready early next year for presenting to the public.

Between now and then, the village may want to consider what it would like to see as far as some options for the project, Kerkman said. He listed four possible situations:

  • Ditches along the entire road, as basically there are now.
  • Curb and gutter along all or part of the highway, no sidewalks.
  • Curb and gutter with sidewalks on both sides.
  • Curb and gutter with sidewalk on one side.

Yet other options might be to have a recreational trail down to the state line or the addition of trees along the highway, Kerkman said.

The state will pay for the work on the highway itself. Costs of sidewalks and paths would be split 80 state/20 percent village.

The state Department of Transportation is examining how to rebuild Highway 45 from the state line north to just south of Highway 50. Brian Pleumer, of R.A. Smith and the project engineer, said actual work could begin as early as 2012 or as late as 2016.

The current proposal calls for:

  • Adding turn lanes and lanes to allow driving around turning cars where needed.
  • Reworking the Highway WG and Highway C intersections, perhaps with roundabouts.
  • Grinding and repaving the road surface from Highway WG to 86th Street.
  • Rebuilding the road from 86th Street north.
  • Improving sight lines now obscured by hills. The most urgent one is at Highway AH and 45, looking north from AH.
  • Sidewalks on one side or both sides of Highway 45 in the “downtown” area are a possibility.

Kerkman said he has asked that the next public meeting include some video of what the various options would look like.

“I’m not sure they’re going to do that,” Kerkman said. “I keep pushing them … that’s what we want.”


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