Upcoming information meeting on construction scheduled for 2015 on County NN

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Andrea Anderson
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ELKHORN — People using the Highway 12 and County NN interchange will have an easier time after two multimillion dollar projects scheduled for 2015, city and county officials said.

The Walworth County Public Works Department is holding a meeting Thursday to update the public on the County NN projects.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be constructing new County NN bridges over Highway 12 and reconstructing the ramps and portions of the roads leading to and from the interchange. The highway would remain four-lanes with each bridge handling two lanes of traffic per direction, according to state project documents.

The bridges are “in very poor condition with areas of significant corrosion” and the height of the bridges is inadequate, resulting in some trucks hitting part of the bridge, according to state project documents. 

“We did have strong support for the bridge replacement,” Kevin Brunner, Walworth County public works director, said of a September public information meeting. “It's a bridge that needs to be replaced, and County NN is in pretty poor condition as well.”

The pavement on County NN east of Interstate 43 to Bray Road will be replaced. Besides routine maintenance, part of County NN has not had major work completed since being constructed in the 1960s, according to one project document.  

About 7,900 vehicles use the County NN and Highway 12 interchange each day, according one document.

The state's plans include accommodations for people crossing the highway on foot or bicycle.

A multiuse path will be added to the north side of County NN, starting east of Elkhorn High School and extending to the White River State Trail on the other side of Highway 12.

The city has agreed to work with the county and state in financing the extension of the multiuse trail into the city, City Administrator Sam Tapson said.

The city will extend the path from the east side of the high school to the western limit of the state's project that ends east of the I-43 overpass.

How much the extension will cost has not been determined because the city council has not decided if it will complete improvements on roads in the area at the same time, Tapson said.

The multiuse path will be 10 feet wide, Brunner said.

The state's project budget is about $10 million, Brunner said.

The Gazette was not able to reach representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to comment on the budget and project plans. 

The county's project will pick up where the state's ends. The $3.4 million project involving the reconstruction of County NN will start east of where the state's work will end near Bray Road. The county would complete work to within 650 feet east of Lakeland School, according to one project document.

“This is really an important connection because our county government campus is located on Highway NN, and you have to cross this bridge, and obviously NN is the entrance into the campus,” Brunner said.

The county received a $270,000 federal grant from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program to offset part of the cost of the multiuse trail and sidewalk.

The construction will be completed in stages to maintain access between Elkhorn city limits, the government departments and the hospital.

“The county will have to work really closely with the state on the detouring as well as the signage to get people around and that's going to be key to this whole project,” Brunner said.

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