Bristol officials satisfied with controlled access hearing

Bristol village officials mostly expressed satisfaction with a hearing the Wisconsin Department of Transportation held last night on designating Highway 45 through Bristol and Paris a controlled access highway.

“We don’t need to be too concerned about access along Highway 45,” said village President Mike Farrell at Tuesday’s Village Board meeting, which was rescheduled so that Bristol officials could attend the hearing.

But one trustee who did not attend yesterday said she was disappointed with the size of the crowd from Bristol who attended yesterday, estimated at about 30 people, given how much money the state spent on notifying residents about the hearing.

” To have 20 or 30 of them show up was a waste of taxpayers money,” said Trustee Ruth Atwood, who added that she believes those people would have showed up even without being sent a certified letter about the hearing, as many residents received from the state.

The also ongoing planning for a reconstruction of Highway 45 was not a subject of the hearing on Monday, only controlled access. But there were some updates to development on that project discussed Tuesday as well.

The state is seeking controlled access to limit the number of entry points onto the highway, which state transportation officials feel will improve safety. New driveways to Highway 45 would require a permit if controlled access is approved.

Farrell said current plans call for the abandonment of only six current accesses.

Village administrator Randy Kerkman said he recently took a class that may help him build a case to preserve trees that the state has identified as being set for cutting when the reconstruction project gets under way, currently projected for 2015. Kerkman is hopeful that he may be able to save trees that are in the right-of-way but not on the road side of the drainage ditch.


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