Another part of Highway 26 project nears completion

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Sunday, August 3, 2014

What's going on here: Highway 26 expansion project.

What's going on: The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is nearing the end of an eight-part expansion of Highway 26 between Janesville and Watertown.  The highway is being expanded from two lanes to four, with on- and off-ramps instead of direct access.  Bike trails will run the entire length and connect to the Glacial River Trail at the northern Rock County line.

Purpose: Highway 26 is “designated a long-truck route in the National Highway System,” according to the DOT website, http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/projects/swregion/26/index.htm

The 48-mile stretch is also considered a “connector route” for the state, the website said.

What's done:  Six of the eight segments are complete. They include: Janesville to Milton, Jefferson to Johnson Creek, Johnson Creek to Watertown, the bypasses around Fort Atkinson and Jefferson and the relocation of Highway 59 in Milton.

What's unfinished: The section of road north of Highway 59 to Fort Atkinson.

“They're working on the main line concrete paving now,” said Teri Schopp, DOT construction supervisor. “They should be done by mid-October."

About half of the project north of Watertown will be done about the same time.  Next summer, the remaining part of the Highway 26 project, between County J and Highway 60, will be completed.

Cost: The cost for the whole project is an estimated $464 million. The cost of the Milton-to-Fort Atkinson segment is $55 million.

News you can use: One of the last items of work will be changing speed limit signs,  Schopp said.  The speed limit for most of the road will go from 55 mph to 65 mph.

“That's what those roads were designed for,” Schopp said.

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