Town: Put the brakes on Inman Parkway plan
Rock County Public Works Director Ben Coopman addressed the board hoping to clear up negative feelings about the county’s plans to extend Inman Parkway from Prairie Avenue east to Shopiere Road.
Board members said loud and clear they thought the town was being left out of the planning process.
“There’s been zero participation from the township,” said Supervisor Dave Townsend. “Why was that corridor selected?”
The county wants to extend Inman east to Shopiere Road, which intersects Interstate 90/39. There has been no work done on the project and no “loop” the town’s been kept out of, Coopman said.
“We don’t even know what we’re talking about yet, and everyone is all worked up,” Coopman said.
The county has signed a contract with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to hire a design consultant for the project.
A straight shot up Inman from Highway 51 to the Interstate would keep drivers from meandering through residential neighborhoods in Turtle Township, Coopman said.
The town board and administration are convinced the project would increase traffic on Inman west of Prairie Avenue, which would affect Turner middle and high schools and Powers Elementary School.
“Now the traffic is meandering through subdivisions in Turtle Township,” town of Beloit Administrator Bob Museus said. “Why are other people more important than ours?”
The board thinks the county should conduct a detailed traffic study to determine how the project would affect Inman.
A detailed study was not planned, but the DOT has conducted some traffic counts, Coopman said.
Townsend asked Coopman to share the traffic counts and to copy the town on correspondence about the project.
“If this is the only way this project can go, we want to be prepared so the rest of the road is safe as soon as the project is done,” said Supervisor Shannon Ladwig.
Until the design is done, it’s unclear where Inman would connect to Shopiere Road, but it could cross Creek Road and Turtle Creek, Coopman told The Janesville Gazette in November.
The project is estimated at $6.5 million.
It could take two years to design the plan, which would address environmental, archaeological and agricultural impacts from the new road, Coopman said.
The Rock County Public Works Committee would have the final say on the project. If it is approved, the county would have to apply for additional federal money for construction, Coopman said.