County G link options narrowed to two

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Friday, September 14, 2012

— Supervisor Dave Brown took a look at the latest numbers for the County G road construction project and quickly came to a conclusion: Even without a county board vote, the choice had more or less been made.

Scot Krebs, a farmer and town of La Prairie resident, came to the same conclusion and hoped to make the best of what, for him, was a bad situation.

The Rock County Public Works Committee voted 3-1 on Thursday in favor of supporting the Inman Parkway extension, one of three options to link County G to Interstate 90/39.

Supervisor Eva Arnold was absent, and Brown voted against the motion.

Officials say the extension is needed to handle truck traffic, relieve congestion on County G and local roads and to improve safety and travel times. The extension, along with improvements to County G, also could serve as a detour route when construction is taking place—or accidents occur—on the Interstate.

The committee quickly eliminated the no-build/rebuild option, which would have involved rebuilding Cranston Road to County G.

The two remaining alternatives include adding a stretch of road from County S to Creek Road. Creek Road would take motorists to Philhower Road and then over to County G.

The second option would involve extending Inman Parkway from County G to County S.

The Philhower Road extension would cost approximately $7 million with the county's share being about $2.6 million. The Inman Parkway choice would cost a total of $5.5 million with the county's share being about $1.4 million.

Those were the numbers that lead Brown to believe "there was a certain amount of inevitably" in the board decision.

"When it comes down to choosing between building roads and saving farm lands, it seems like the board's de facto policy is to choose the roads," Brown said.

The board has taken "a little bit here and a sliver there."

"It's death by a thousand cuts," Brown said.

The Inman Parkway extension goes across land owned by Krebs and his brothers-in-law Robert and Alan Atkinson. The land is irrigated, and the plans call for the county to mitigate the damage done to the land by installing a pipe under the road and setting up a second irrigator on the other side.

On Thursday, Krebs asked the committee to consider shifting the road south.

"It would take a similar amount of land but have much less impact on our operations," Krebs said.

Highway Commissioner Ben Coopman said any additional engineering studies—including plans to reroute the road, would cost between $50,000 and $70,000.

Brown made a motion to approve the Inman Parkway extension but move it to the south, as suggested by Krebs. The motion failed for a lack of a second.

Speaking in favor of the Inman Park extension were Beloit City Manager Larry Arft and Forward Janesville Vice President Dan Cunningham.

The Rock County Board on Thursday, Sept. 27, will pick a route to submit for state approval.

Last updated: 4:38 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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