Salem asks state for another Highways 83/C roundabout meeting

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 on Monday asked the state Department of Transportation to hold another public informational meeting about a proposed roundabout at Highway 83 and Highway C in Salem.

But it’s not clear that the meeting will happen.

A WisDOT representative at Monday’s Town Board meeting said typically the state would not host such a meeting in a municipality that has formally opposed a roundabout. The Salem Town Board passed a resolution in November opposing a roundabout at Highways 83 and C by a 4-1 vote (Supervisor Dennis Faber voted against it).

“We hear you,” said Nguyen Ly, WisDOT project manager. “From the  department’s standpoint, we would not proceed if you oppose the roundabout. However I would like to reiterate that the important part is the safety at the intersection.”

After the anti-roundabout resolution passed, town Chairman Diann Tesar said she had additional discussions with DOT officials that caused her to change her mind about the project. She now favors a roundabout.

“They really expressed a need for some improvement at that intersection,” said Tesar, adding that “these people know more than I do.”

She shared this belief to other board members and hoped by having another public informational meeting that the board might be able to gauge public sentiment on the topic.

Ly said WisDOT typically wouldn’t host another informational meeting where the municipality opposes the project, but in light of the board’s actions he would take the matter back to the DOT for consideration.

Supervisor Dan Campion voted against the meeting resolution.

WisDOT unveiled plans in late 2014 for a roundabout as the preferred alternative for improving the safety of the Highways 83/C intersection. DOT officials say the roundabout provides the most safety potential and would be less expensive than improving the intersection with new signals. A roundabout also would require less acquisition of property than improving the intersection with signals.

A roundabout would cost about $2-3 million while an improved signal controlled intersection would cost $4-5 million, WisDOT has said.

The state says the intersection is statistically one of the most dangerous in southeast Wisconsin. There were 32 crashes at the intersection from 2010 through 2014.

The project is to be funded 90 percent with federal funds and 10 percent state funds.



  1. Patty Gandt says:

    I would beg to differ that all 32 crashes were at the intersection I would speculate that more than half were just south of that intersection at Hwy JF trying to turn onto Hwy 83 or cross Hwy 83. A Roundabout is not going to help that intersection at all in fact it will probably cause the cars to be more spread out instead of grouped together when the light changes.

  2. Signals Cost More? says:

    I agree with Patty that the 83/JF intersection is worse than C/83! How can new signals at C/83 cost more than a complete reconstruction of the intersection? How do new signals require the addition of private property more than a roundabout, are you kidding me? The problem with C/83 are the stop signs that some people don’t stop for and others don’t realize they are supposed to stop for, you can’t fix stupid and some drivers are just that. Why not drop the speed limit on 83 heading south towards JF, that way when people approach JF they’re not going 50+mph?!?

    1. @Signals Cost More? The story probably could have been clearer, but when the state is calling for new signals, they also mean a reconfiguration of the intersection to make it safer. This includes grading for better sight lines, islands etc. That’s why more land is needed.

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