Old Highway 26, Old Highway 59 to getting repairs before being turned over to local governments

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Andrea Behling
Monday, August 25, 2014

MILTON—Two pieces of old state highway will undergo $1.6 million worth of repair before they're turned over to the city of Milton and town of Milton as local roads.

Repairs to sections of old Highway 26, or East Janesville Street, and old Highway 59, or East High Street, are scheduled to start Monday, Sept. 8, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Old Highway 26 will be closed to through traffic, and old Highway 59 will remain open until the project's expected completion date of Nov. 1, state DOT Project Manager Jim Oettinger said.

Transferring ownership of old highway segments to the local governments is a small part of the $325 million expansion of Highway 26 between Watertown and Janesville, Oettinger said.

The DOT will patch concrete pavement on old Highway 26 from East Madison Avenue to just north of East County N, Oettinger said. The department also will repair and replace steel panels on the Otter Creek bridge near the intersection of old Highway 26 and East County N.

The pavement is generally in pretty decent shape, but the DOT often makes repairs to roads about to be turned over to local governments, Oettinger said.

On old Highway 59, the department will put a new layer of asphalt on the old pavement from East Janesville Street to the new Highway 59, Oettinger said.

The process includes taking off at least part of the old road's surface from curb to curb and repaving the whole section, said Howard Robinson, director of public works for the city of Milton.

“The maintenance is needed,” Robinson said.

An estimated 16,000 vehicles a day used the old Highway 26 before construction of the Highway 26 bypass, according to state DOT estimates.

The projected 2014 traffic count for old Highway 26 is 2,100 vehicles, Oettinger said. For old Highway 59, the 2014 projection is 1,100 vehicles, he said.

The state DOT will hold a public meeting from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, at the Milton Public Library, 430 E. High St., Milton. The meeting is meant to share information about the project and give community members a chance to ask questions and provide input, according to the DOT.

Oettinger said he doesn't know what feedback to expect from the meeting but said there might be some talk about the Highway 26 bypass and how it's impacted businesses in Milton.

“(The meeting) isn't meant to get into the concerns of the bypass itself. Really this is meant to address the pavement work that we're doing out there,” Oettinger said.

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