Intersection's redesign gets another look

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Gazette staff
Friday, July 4, 2014

TOWN OF BELOIT—Town of Beloit residents who opposed the design of an intersection reconstruction will get a look at a new design.

The state's Department of Transportation planned to reconstruct the Riverside Drive/Cranston Road intersection with a high, curb-like lane divider in the southbound lane of Riverside Drive extending 200 feet from the Cranston Road intersection to the north.

The intersection reconstruction, including the lane divider, is necessary because the intersection had become a high accident location.

“The lane divider was necessary to improve safety to an acceptable level, but the Riverside Drive residents on the west side would not be able to turn north from their driveways,” said Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville said.

“To go north, they would have to travel south to Cranston, then east on Cranston and complete a 2.5-mile circle, or worse yet, make a dangerous U-turn somewhere. There was even talk of cutting through the Hanson's Tavern parking lot to double back to Riverside Drive.”

Town residents met with DOT representatives and consultant Stand Associates to lay out their objections and cooperate in attempts to find common ground that would solve the problem.

After a two-hour meeting, the DOT design team agreed to look for an alternative design that would allow driveway access without compromising safety at the intersection.

“When I learned of the situation, I was concerned that the DOT and Strand would have to decide between safety for motorists on Riverside Drive and the ability for local residents to safely pull into and out of their driveways,” Cullen said. “It's never a good situation when one person's safety could be compromised to afford safety to others.”

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