Do you support Interstate project?

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Greg Peck
June 20, 2013

Friday marks the official start of summer, and that means orange construction barrels. They’re already ahead of the curve in Janesville. They line Racine Street as workers have started reconstructing the dangerous interchange with Interstate 90/39. If all goes well, by November residents and visitors alike will negotiate two roundabouts near that intersection.

Critics harp about roundabouts, that most trendy of interchanges. Aren’t state officials, however, reasonable to argue that the circular intersections help motorists avoid serious, high-impact crashes?

The project is a precursor of what’s to come—widening the Interstate between the stateline and Madison to at least three lanes in each direction starting in 2015. Transportation officials are convinced that rising traffic counts justify creating four lanes in each direction in Janesville. The slice between highways 26 and 14 will get a whopping six each way when adding lanes for on and off ramps.

In a ceremony marking the start of the Racine Street project last week, state Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb praised unified local support for driving the Interstate expansion’s planning and approval. He said the 45-mile stretch from Beloit to Madison serves as a gateway to Wisconsin and that the upgrade will offer competitive advantages for businesses and industries.

Do you agree?

We’ll share our perspectives in our editorial Friday.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

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