If a development plan goes forward, a new Kwik Trip gas station/convenience store on Janesville’s northeast side will be just a “Kwik” jaunt across a parking lot from another Kwik Trip.
Kwik Trip plans by 2021 to break ground on a new store west of Target along Humes Road. That location is about a quarter-mile from an existing Kwik Trip at 3359 Milton Ave.
Under a plan announced this week at a Janesville Plan Commission meeting, Kwik Trip will build the new store at Humes Road and Bell Street on a lot between Target and the Hesser Toyota dealership.
Kwik Trip said the design will follow the company’s “generation-III” concept for new Midwestern stores: a larger format that includes a fresh market along with a gas station and car wash.
Seth Waddell, a project manager for Kwik Trip, said the company intends to run both the new store and the existing Milton Avenue store. The two will be close enough that one will be visible to the other from across Target’s parking lot.
Waddell said their proximity is part of a strategy to capture more consumer traffic along the busy Humes Road-Milton Avenue commercial corridor.
The two roads have a combined traffic count of 48,000 vehicles a day, according to state Department of Transportation data. That’s roughly equal to daily traffic counts on Interstate 90/39’s run through Janesville.
Kwik Trip believes that having a second store there will capture more traffic in an area poised for residential growth, Waddell said.
“The business strategy is not much different than airports in being designed to capture flow,” he said. “You go down the road (on Humes Road) to the neighborhoods on that northwest side, and you see up-and-coming development. You see a lot more people living out that way, and we wanted to look into that.”
The new store will be Kwik Trip’s fifth store in Janesville. The company has made headlines for aggressive growth linked, in part, to its forays into fresh, cooked and prepackaged foods.
Waddell said the proposed Humes Road site is better suited than the existing location to accommodate “constant” truck deliveries of retail goods, which makes it viable for a larger-format store, including a car wash.
The plan commission will consider a conditional-use permit request for the new Kwik Trip on June 15, but Waddell said the company likely won’t break ground until next year.
Waddell said the Milton Avenue Kwik Trip is one of the company’s busiest stores in Janesville because of its location on a commuter route and proximity to an Interstate-90/39 interchange.
“The (Milton Avenue) store is a great site, and Kwik Trip has no plan in closing down there,” Waddell said. “We plan to operate both at the same time, and one of the main things would be to relieve some of the pressure from that existing store.
“That’s a very, very heavy intersection and very populated with a lot of great businesses. Pulling some of the business from the Milton Avenue store to a brand-new store is kind of our goal here.”
Ann Marie Bell
Daniel Joseph Edmunds
Lamier Alonzo Duhamel Lowe
Donald “Don” McCue
Michael W. Schmidt
Brian L. Teubert
Rock County’s epidemic curve shows fewer people have reported the onset of COVID-19 symptoms in recent days compared to this time last month.
And while that and smaller day-to-day increases of positive coronavirus cases are encouraging, it by no means indicates the pandemic is over, said Nick Zupan, epidemiologist at the Rock County Public Health Department.
The state Department of Health Services is now publishing county epidemic curves for COVID-19 on its website.
Epidemic curves track when people with positive cases of the novel coronavirus began showing symptoms.
Data for May 20 to June 3 could change as more people are diagnosed and tested.
The coronavirus is thought to remain active in a person’s body for about two weeks, so people who test positive in coming days might have shown symptoms days prior.
Those who do not show symptoms are placed on the chart by date of diagnosis.
Typically, epidemic curves are used to help identify a disease during an unknown outbreak and monitor how it spreads through a community, Zupan said.
For example, if there is an outbreak of a food-borne illness, health officials can look at an epidemic curve to help determine which disease is circulating based on how long it took for symptoms to appear after exposure.
COVID-19 is different because officials know what disease they are tracking.
Epidemic curves for COVID-19 show periods of time when more people started showing symptoms, which could help connect the dots on what led to an increase in cases or local outbreak.
Peaks and valleys in reported onset dates indicate Rock County’s large increases in coronavirus cases are mostly tied to localized outbreaks at facilities, such as the outbreak at the Birds Eye food processing plant in Darien, Zupan said.
The day with the most reported cases of symptom onset was May 19, with 39 cases.
Rock County saw symptom onset peaks in late April and mid-May.
Zupan said he expects the county to continue seeing peaks and valleys of coronavirus cases until there is a vaccine.
Rock County has 658 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 19 people have died, according to health department data.
Of those with positive cases, 15% have been hospitalized.
In Rock County, 207 people have recovered from the virus.
Safety precautions such as wearing masks in public, staying home and social distancing have helped prevent exponential growth of cases in Rock County, Zupan said.
Easing precautions could lead to an increase in cases as long as the virus remains in the community, Zupan said.
The county has not seen a large spike in cases since reopening businesses, Zupan said, but residents should remain cautious and follow recommended guidelines.