Legislators, DOT to hold listening session on Milton bypass
MILTON—Two state legislators and the state Department of Transportation are hosting a public listening session Tuesday for residents to voice concerns over the Highway 26 bypass in Milton.
Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, and Rep. Andy Jorgensen, D-Milton, organized the listening session, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at The Gathering Place, 715 Campus St., Milton.
DOT officials including Southwest Region Deputy Director Dave Vieth, Economic Development Officer Brad Basten and Signing and Marketing Coordinator Iver Peterson will be at the session to hear concerns and answer questions.
The session follows a meeting May 1 in Madison between Milton city officials, DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb and Cullen and Jorgensen. At that meeting, officials discussed commercial development and highway access issues along the bypass corridor and options for additional signs along the corridor to help motorists more easily find their way into Milton.
The city is trying to gain local support for a petition to the state to establish signs and a designated Business Highway 26 route. The route and additional signs would give motorists clearer access from the bypass to the city's eastside business district on Janesville Street, the former Highway 26.
The DOT is supportive of the business route, but town of Milton officials have expressed hesitancy to support the plan, pointing to potential future road maintenance costs on the three-mile section of Janesville Street that's now under town jurisdiction.
Jorgensen said that's one issue for which the listening session could help to bring clarity.
He said many ideas that he, Cullen and city officials brought to the DOT at their meeting earlier this month came from Milton residents.
“This session is a chance for people to bring those ideas directly to the DOT and see what they have to say,” Jorgensen said. “Even if there's something that isn't on the docket of concerns, maybe another idea, this would be a great time to bring it forward and see what the DOT's reaction would be.”