Roundabouts included in recommendations for Highway 14

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Gina Duwe
Saturday, April 26, 2014

EVANSVILLE--Traffic signals or up to eight roundabouts are recommended at intersections with Highway 14 between Janesville and Evansville when traffic counts warrant changes.

The changes would help preserve the corridor as a two-lane highway, according to a state highway study.

The state hopes to keep Highway 14 between Dane County and Janesville a two-lane corridor for as long as possible, although additional lanes might be considered for some sections, according to a draft of the study.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation started the Highway 14 corridor study in 2009 on the 22.5-mile segment from Highway 92 near Oregon in Dane County to Janesville. The final report of the corridor management plan is anticipated this summer.

The public can review the study and offer input at an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at J.C. McKenna Middle School in Evansville.

The study evaluated the existing road and possible improvements to improve safety and mobility. Data was collected regarding traffic volumes and crashes, natural resources, archaeological and historic resources, access points and existing and future land use plans.

Improvement alternatives and recommendations are included in the study, but no construction projects are planned at this time.

Highway 14 is a connector route, which means when average daily traffic exceeds 8,700 vehicles, expansion to four lanes should be considered. Daily traffic is expected to exceed 8,700 by 2035, and the report recommends monitoring traffic and safety levels for possible expansion if conditions worsen.

The report recommends passing lanes or expansion to four lanes for stretches along the corridor, as well as additional lanes on the existing four-lane portion from Highway 51 into Janesville.

According to a draft that won't be finalized until after the public meeting, the study's possible strategies and recommendations include:

--Traffic lights with a roundabout as another option for the Highway 14 and Main Street intersection in downtown Evansville when volumes warrant an improvement, expected by 2025.

--An all-way stop at Highway 14 and Madison Street/Highway 213 just north of downtown Evansville when delays increase, expected by 2035. An “optional strategy” is a single-lane roundabout.

--A multi-lane roundabout as one fix for capacity issues that are expected during peak commute times by 2035 at Highway 14 and Bullard Road, which drivers use as an unofficial bypass around Evansville.

--An eastbound bypass lane to Highway 14 at J. Lindemann Drive on Evansville's east side, where the possibility of crashes increases because of stopped traffic turning left.

--Traffic signals at County H by 2025 with a roundabout as an option, while a multi-lane roundabout is recommended at County F by 2035.

--A possible interchange at Highway 92/Biglow Road in Dane County, which has capacity issues during the weekday morning commute.

--Aligning the offset side roads of North Eagle Road and North Roherty Road to a single point on Highway 14 in the town of Center.

--Aligning the offset side roads of North Hackbarth Road and North West River Drive at Highway 14

--Turning North Hackbarth Road into a cul-de-sac that can be accessed via County E

--Changing the angle of two intersections in the town of Center. North Cassidy Road and North Fox Road both meet Highway 14 at less than 65 degrees, and a possible solution is to realign them at 90-degree angles.

The study found 18 driveways with potential to be moved, closed or combined with an adjacent access point. The majority are residential properties with loop driveways with two access points on Highway 14.

The DOT will schedule pavement improvements as necessary, and the portion of the highway with the worst pavement was between North Curtis Drive and County F. The report states the DOT should evaluate it for improvements “in the near future.”

The majority of the gravel shoulders throughout the corridor are below the design standard of 7 feet, with one stretch between Highways 138 and 92 as small as 2 feet. The study says the sub-standard shoulder widths should be upgraded as part of future projects.

A review of crash statistics did not show any high-crash access points between intersections, according to the draft.

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