State favors roundabout for Highways 45 and K, says project engineer

A view of the state's roundabout proposal alternative for the Highway 45-K intersection.

The state Department of  Transportation favors constructing a roundabout at Highways 45 and K as a way to reduce serious crashes there, the engineer for the project said.

Jaymin Patel, project engineer, said roundabout and four-way stop alternatives were both considered by the state, but the roundabout has more potential for preventing serious crashes and therefore earned the state’s preference. He was speaking at a Public Information Meeting held April 24 at the Kenosha County Center on the Highway 45 and Highway K reconstruction project.

Roundabouts are considered safer by traffic engineers because they minimize conflict points and tend to lead to glancing or sideswipe type crashes rather than t-bones or head-ons.

The Highway K/45 intersection has more than double the federal acceptable threshold of crashes and is among the 5 percent most hazardous intersections in the region, Patel said.

Patel said the roundabout plan being proposed by the state would address the two major safety problems with the intersection: a bend in Highway 45 south of the intersection and steep down grades on Highway K approaching the intersection, especially on the west. The bend would be straightened and the grades made less steep, in part by raising the intersection itself.

The grades cause cars to have to travel too fast and brake too hard to stop at the current two-way stop, causing cars to sometimes overrun the stop signs, Patel.

The intersection project is currently in the preliminary alternative evaluation stage. The next step would be final prep and engineering, which is scheduled to be followed by another Public Information Meeting in August. If the project continues to move forward, land acquisition would take place in 2013, final plans would be complete by fall 2015, letting and bidding would take place in winter of 2016 and construction start in fall of 2017. Construction would take five months, Patel said.

Cost is estimated at $1.4 million for the roundabout.

Several public officals attended the meeting Tuesday, which had no formal program. Those attending included Bristol village President Michael Farrell and Bristol Trustees Colleen Fisch and John McCabe,  Bristol village administrator Randy Kerkman and Bristol fire Chief Peter Parker; Paris Supervisor Ken Monson and town Chairman Virgil Gentz; state Rep. Samantha Kerkman.

Gentz said at the Paris Town Board meeting that took place the same night that he has the impression from the DOT that the roundabout is “a done deal.” In a meeting last month which he attended along with county, Bristol and state officials, Gentz said he expressed concerns about farm equipment using the roundabout safely. State officials said they were considering some design elements that could make it easier for farm machinery traveling on Highway 45 through the roundabout.

Also at the Paris meeting, Paris fire Chief Roland Iwen supported the construction of the roundabout.

“I think a roundabout would be better than a four-way stop,” Iwen said. “People don’t stop at four-way stops.”

Kerkman also spoke at the Paris meeting during citizens comments and reported on the roundabout meeting as well.

A state official describes aspects of the Highway 45 and Highway K intersection reconstruction project.

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4 Comments

  1. Scott says:

    I hate these intersections. I pass one on the way to work every day. There have been many accidents there since. People don’t know or use them and tend to go the wrong way etc. These do not reduce accidents serious or other wise. I don’t know why they keep pushing them. I hope the hold a public hearing so I can let them know how I and others around me feel about this crap. Also there just is not that much room at 45 and K for this type of intersection unless they take over private property and thats just not right.

  2. Scott says:

    Oh, yea. You may want to modify the title. It is missing the 4 in 45…

    Thanks,

  3. […] State favors roundabout for Highways 45 and K, says project engineer […]

  4. […] State favors roundabout for Highways 45 and K, says project engineer […]

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