State looking to go ahead with sidewalks along Highway 45 in Bristol

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Bristol Village Board members heard Monday that the state Department of Transportation is planning to proceed with installing sidewalks in central Bristol as part of the Highway 45 repaving project.

Village administrator Randy Kerkman said a WisDOT representative told him in a recent conversation that the state planned to proceed with sidewalks from about the area of Bristol Bay south to about Highway AH along Highway 45 on both sides of the road.

The Village Board has formally opposed sidewalks in the area being added to the state’s plan for repaving the highway.

The state contends that the sidewalks are actually required since there are other sidewalks in the area, such as at the Bristol Bay development, that enter the Highway 45 right of way, Kerkman said.

Trustees seemed upset that their preference is apparently being disregarded by the state.

Trustee Carolyn Owens questioned whether the sidewalks could be placed if the village refused to accept their maintenance.

“They can’t just spring that on us,” Owens said.

Kerkman pointed out that the village does have an ordinance on the books that requires the property owners of land that sidewalks are on to be rponsible for maintenance such as snow removal. If the sidewalks were installed by the state, the village would likely need to be more rigorous in enforcing maintenance in order to avoid liability for injuries.

The village also let the state know that they objected to roundabouts at Highway 45 and Highways C and WG and a multi-use path from Highway AH south to the state line. Those aspects have been dropped by the state, Kerkman said he was told.



  1. WHO owns the land says:

    where the sidewalks are going to be placed? If they are on state land, it would seem to me that the state would have to find a way to clear them.

    Using “the BAY” sidewalks as a guide, which is inside a neighborhood, doesnt seem quite comparable.

    Not to mention it will cost more money, more time and will further ruin the atmosphere of Bristol Center. Long term maintenance with utilities, heaving sections and driveway issues further complicate the issue.

    The state should be dealing with roadways, not walkkways.

  2. ARE YOU KIDDING???? says:

    They want us to use a defunct, mostly empty eyesore of a development as a guide for how the village should appear??? Bristol Bay should NOT be the example here. It’s bad enough that in order to enter Bristol from the north you have to look at what essentially resembles a ghost town. “WHO” makes many very valid points but I agree most with the comment that the sidewalks would ruin the atmosphere of our SMALL VILLAGE. We are not a suburb or urban area, we are a village and we should be trying to preserve that in the midst of all of this land waste for uncompleted development. To think, we used to mostly be a farming community; it’s a shame. The state DOT officials and idiot land developers should stop trying to create the burbs in our little village. Oh, and another thing, the owners of the condos/townhouses in Bristol Bay do NOT have to maintain their own sidewalks….the association (who’s dues will double soon if some of their units don’t get filled) pay for a service to come in to shovel up to their doors-is the state willing to provide that service to those of us they are forcing to have t sidewalks in our front yards?

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