Salem Town Board to seek more info from state on Highways 83 & C roundabout

The WisDOT Highways 83 & C roundabout plan (click for larger view)

The WisDOT Highways 83 & C roundabout plan (click for larger view)

The Salem Town Board still has questions about the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s plan to construct a roundabout at the Highway 83 and Highway C intersection.

Consequently, the Town Board will seek to have another public meeting with WisDOT officials to answer questions about the project. That meeting could come as soon as the next Committee of the Whole meeting, which was moved to Feb. 23.

The Salem Town Board had WisDOT officials at their Jan. 26 Committee of the Whole meeting to present information about the project. At that time, state officials said traffic studies of crashes at the intersection — currently controlled by traffic signals — showed a high number of serious crashes. A roundabout design should reduce the number of serious crashes due to the fact it slows traffic and creates less dangerous points of interaction between vehicles with less severe angles. The roundabout alternative for Highways 83 and C is projected to cost about $2 to 3 million, as opposed to a reworked signal intersection that would cost about $4 to 5 million. The roundabout alternative also would require acquisition of about one third of an acre, as opposed to a reworked traffic signal intersection that would require one acre to be acquired. Much of the additional cost of the improved traffic signal option is due to correcting grades and sight lines that would not be necessary with a roundabout. The state expects to host a public involvement meeting this summer and then start construction in 2018.

The board seemed poised Monday to agree to send a letter to the state opposing the roundabout. Supervisors Dan Campion, Ted Kmiec and Mike Culat voiced strong opposition to building the roundabout, which would require no funds from the town.

“I think it’s a waste of money,” Kmiec said of the roundabout. “I personally think roundabouts are more dangerous than regular intersections.”

But the momentum for opposing the roundabout in a letter to the state seemed to lose some steam when Supervisor Dennis Faber said he would not sign such a letter.

“I am comfortable with them,” Faber said of roundabouts, adding that they do slow traffic in intersections.

Town Chairman Diann Tesar said she was willing to draft the letter reflecting a board consensus, but did not express a strong opinion.

A roundabout “is something you have to get used to,” Tesar said.

Ultimately, the board adopted a suggestion by resident Chris Skrzynecki that the board submit tough questions to the state and demand thorough answers. A motion to follow Skrzynecki’s suggestion passed unanimously.

A WisDOT graphic showing types and severity of crashes at Highways 83 & C (click for larger view).

A WisDOT graphic showing types and severity of crashes at Highways 83 & C (click for larger view).



  1. Ughh says:

    I know I’ve commented on this story in the past, and the state will do what its going to do. But in all seriousness, all this intersection needs is a left turn light. Sometimes traffic is so bad, people just try to pull out in front of others. The same problem occurs on highway 45 & C. I think a red/green left turn arrow would solve quite a significant amount of crashes, and its a lot cheaper! Try not to over think what these intersections really need.

  2. West of 45 Citizen says:

    Roundabouts are nothing more than a new kind of speed bump

  3. Jake says:

    Not sure, but when the county fair is going on or the Wilmot races are going on the traffic from East to West or West to East is going to cause some problems with the Roundabout. I have seen people in Kenosha on the H Roundabout jumping in and causing accidents. I really believe that the lights need attention and for the most part it would resovle issues.

  4. Don says:

    A roundabout would be better suited at hey AH (260th) and hwy c. Speed limit is 35, hard to see around corner, and people don’t slow down by the school. That would improve flow.

  5. Uhhhhh..... says:

    So, where do AH and C intersect? Do you mean JF and C?

    Also, what exactly are “tough questions” that we are going to demand answers on? Our board couldn’t come to a conclusion without a referendum on atv’s on the roads, how are they going to come up with “tough questions”? Set up a committee?

    All I’ve seen are people complaining about roundabouts – no facts, just “I don’t like them” which means I have no idea on how to navigate them.

    Not sure sure if a roundabout is right for that intersection, but I haven’t seen a cohesive argument on why it is a bad idea.

  6. Ughh says:

    @uhhhhh- You’re right, most people don’t like them because most people (elderly included) don’t know how to navigate them. Highway C and 83 is far too busy of an intersection to put a roundabout. JF and C would be fine, as would most less traveled intersections. The MB & C round about works because highway MB is far less traveled. Most traffic at that intersection is just traveling east/west. Its going to be a travel nightmare, but I really have no stake in it. I don’t travel that way much anymore. I just think left turn arrows would be so much more effective and cheaper.

  7. "Tough Questions" says:

    Here’s a few.
    Why are there stop signs at the right turn lanes?
    Why do I have to stop when I have a green light?
    Did right turn on red get changed to ‘stop every time I want to go right’?

    How many of the accidents they cite in the report they presented that were rear enders were because of this ‘New’ stop sign on right turn?

    Could a left turn arrow be added without changing the road way? If not, why not?

    Why are they calling for more excavation of the roadway when they did a lot of that the last time around when they rebuilt the whole road from the state line up?

    The DOT wants ALL intersections to be roundabouts and while I don’t have a solid objection to them in certain places ( I think C & MB was a good choice) I do think that at this intersection it will actually be detrimental to the flow of existing and future traffic volume. They have no answers why the current intersection can’t just be tweak a little. Why not just lower the speed limit a little? Add a little enforcement and we could take the heat off of Silver Lake about traffic stops. These things could be done in a very short amount of time, at minimal cost and long before the 2018 planned construction date.

    What some of us who attended the presentation that was at the committee meeting at the town hall are asking for are answers to these kind of questions. Questions that none of the three, yes the DOT sent 3 people to the meeting, were able to answer.

    So if the Town board wants to weigh in on this impending change,(of which will probably happen no matter what we say) then let’s do it by demanding the state DOT make their case.

    If you have ever dealt with the DOT or the government in general you know that they will try to not answer anything they don’t want to hoping you finally give up asking.

    I know. I’ve been there.

    Chris Skrzynecki

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