Highway 45 accident rate twice state average crowd at public information meeting told

A view of an alternative for a Highway 50/45 roundabout.

The audience at a Wisconsin Department of Transportation Public Information Meeting about a Highway 45 reconstruction project heard that the road between Highway WG and Highway 50 accident rate is twice the state average.

The state is planning a reconstruction of the U.S. highway tentatively scheduled for 2015.

Safety improvements that should help decrease that rate are one of the main reason for the doing the project, said Brian Pluemer, consultant project manager. The others are improving bicycle and pedestrian safety and replacing a deteriorating road surface.

“When it goes, it goes fast,” Pluemer said.

The state first hosted a public information meeting on the project last October. This meeting was a follow-up to present more alternatives to receive public input.

One change this time around was alternatives for roundabouts at three intersections  instead of the one showed last time around, which was at Highway C. Roundabout alternatives have now been developed for Highway WG, Highway C and Highway 50.

The roundabouts drew some some adverse comment from the crowd.

“I’ve been in every one of your roundabouts and I’m sorry they stink,” said resident Sharon Cavillo. Another resident called them “suicide circles” as Cavillo finished her comment.

But Pluemer presented statistics from an independent insurance industry study of intersections converted to roundabouts that showed significant reducetions in crashes and fatalities as in:

  • 30 percent reduction of total crashes.
  • 75 percent reduction in injury crashes.
  • 90 percent reduction in fatalities.

Ultimately the decisions on what the project will end up looking like in all aspects will be made by the DOT with consultation from the village government and consideration of comments gathered from the public.

Other alternatives displayed at the meeting included:

  • A mixed use path for bikes and pedestrians south of 86th Street. Some cocnersn were raised about the paths being unsafe for bike riding even though they will be separated from the road. But one resident said a similar path installed by the villlage along Highway AH does get frequent use. Another resident who lives on Highway 45 said she welcomed the path even though she would lose property to it because she would no longer have to travel to Illinois to ride a trail.
  • In the urban portion from 86th Street north, alternatives for sidewalks on one side, both sides or no sidewalk have been developed.
The most current timeline calls for construction to begin and end in 2015. Highway 45 would be shut down to through traffic in two stages with detours. Access to homes and local businesses would be maintained throughout, Pluemer said.

A view of the rural portion of the project with a multi-use path.

A view of an urban section with no sidewalks.

A view of an urban section with sidewalks.



  1. holy what the? says:

    a round a bout at 45 & 50? really? is it going to be as small as all the others? I do not see this as a working alternative. Thats going to make traffic a nightmare at that intersection. All because some idiots cant pay attention to a STOP LIGHT thats already in place? Maybe if they make the round a bout bigger, like they are in Europe. People cant figure out how to go thru the one on 20 & 45. Ugh.

    Whats going to be there detour route for this when they shut it down for the 8+ months the slow pokes take to build it? Through Bristol? Up 45? They think they have accidents now, put up a detour for this and watch the accidents pile up.

  2. Ted Jozefiak says:

    Letter I sent to Bristol Board.

    To whom it may concern:
    My wife and I could not make the meeting on 9/7/11, but we were informed of the various proposals by our neighbors this morning. I would just like to say why? Why do we need a walking path from the state line to town? What’s in town I need to walk to? We definitely would not let our children walk there alone and again for what purpose? Then I hear there is a proposal for a special bike lane? Again why? The Lance Armstrong wanna bees out there already utilize the road ways without contributing to their maintenance or obeying the rules of the road. Now you want us to fund a special lane for them? No, I say go to France if that’s what you want!! We, like many of our neighbors, moved to Bristol because it was a country town. Farm fields, grassy fields, and large lots, not sidewalks and bike lanes. I understand there will not be a vote on this, which I find absurd, but I would hope you would consider the thoughts of the residents, not the board, not Randy Kerkman, and not outsiders. Resurface the road, leave the existing lights that work, and move on. When our town is booming with a movie theater, shopping mall, and roller rink, then we can talk about walking paths to town.


  3. Bristol Resident says:

    Roundabouts are not that difficult and many times (not always) the people that are against them are ones that have never driven through one before. You slow down, yield and proceed. I’m sure the engineers will plan the roundabout at 45 & 50 as it should be and it will work well. True, some people can’t pay attention to stop lights, hence the need for roundabouts. I drive through the one at 20 & 45 and also the one in Whitewater and never have an issues. I for one am in favor for roundabouts on 45 at 50, C and WG. I also feel the need for a reduction in the speed limit from stateline north to C. This is an area where so many of the fatal accidents occur.

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