County M road work ending third year

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Shelly Birkelo
Sunday, October 6, 2013

What it is: A four-year, $8 million project to reconstruct 11 miles of County M in Rock County.

“This is our third summer of the project that started in 2011,” said Ben Coopman, Rock County Public Works director.

The third phase should be complete by the end of October, he said.

The first phase began in 2011 at Highway 59 just southeast of Milton and went as far as Emerald Grove Road.

During 2012, work continued to County KK in addition to work from County Line Road to Highway 14.

“We didn't get all that piece between County Line and 14 paved, so we finished that this summer,” Coopman said.

“Now, we're doing from KK down through Johnstown Center all the way to County MM,” he said.

So far, about $6 million in local tax money has been invested in the project. When it's done, the total will be about $8 million, Coopman said.

County employees and contractors have been doing the work.

“This year, we had to bring in two additional subcontractors,” Coopman said.

One did storm sewer work in downtown Johnstown Center and another poured concrete, he said.

The road for the most part has been closed to through traffic during the reconstruction, but it was completely closed for storm sewer work in Johnstown Center in September.

“This road was pretty heavily used as an agriculture trucking route, but it was never built to those standards,” he said.

The freezing and thawing of moisture trapped under the road made the road so rough it was unsafe, Coopman said.

“It was almost dangerous at times. You had to slow down and heed the advisory speed zones, otherwise you could actually lose control of your vehicle," he said.

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