Hearing focuses on Hackbarth Road reconfiguration

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Jim Leute
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

— Town of Janesville officials believe they have a solution for balancing safety, convenience and cost on North Hackbarth Road.

The 350-yard stretch of Hackbarth is a popular route between County E and Highway 14.

It is primarily used by motorists turning south off Highway 14 near the Redwood Motel to connect with County E and Janesville's west side or those traveling north on County E who want to head east toward the city.

Safety has long been an issue on the stretch, primarily as northbound motorists leave County E to use the Hackbarth Road shortcut.

Earlier this year, supervisors proposed closing Hackbarth near County E. They also talked about a more extensive reconstruction of Hackbarth that would have required land acquisition.

Residents along the stretch have said Hackbarth is a raceway and that crossing the road to get their mail is dangerous. So, too, is driving into or out of their driveways, they said.

Others who spoke at a February public hearing said the road should not be closed, a move that would cost taxpayers thousands of dollars and inconvenience thousands of drivers daily.

A recent town traffic count on County E showed that of the 2,700 vehicles that travel north on County E each day, about 2,000 of them turn onto Hackbarth Road. The other 700 continue north to the intersection with Highway 14.

The town board has scheduled a public hearing Monday to discuss and possibly vote on another option. It involves reconfiguring Hackbarth Road to intersect County E perpendicularly. Supervisors believe that would considerably slow traffic turning onto Hackbarth Road.

It also would keep the road open and cost taxpayers less than the option that would have required buying land from a neighbor, said Bruce Schneider, town chairman.

If you go

What: Janesville Town Board will hold a public hearing and possibly take action on a proposed reconfiguration of the intersection of Hackbarth Road and County E.

When: 7:30 p.m., Monday, May 6.

Where: Janesville Town Hall, 1628 N. Little Court, Janesville.

For more information: Call 608-754-1468

Last updated: 10:34 am Tuesday, July 2, 2013

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