Janesville39.8°

County considering more traffic control near BTC

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Catherine W. Idzerda
November 5, 2011

What do Beloit, Turtle, Rock and La Prairie townships have in common? They all meet at one busy intersection: County G and Town Line Road.


Students going to and from Blackhawk Technical College pass through the intersection daily, as do the trucks from the Rock Road Company’s asphalt plant.


And here’s something that distinguishes the intersection even more: It scored a three out of nine on its warrant analysis—the engineering test that determines if additional traffic control is needed.


That low score just might qualify it for either a stoplight or roundabout in the next few years, said Ben Coopman, Rock County’s director of public works.


The warrant analysis on the intersection considered nine factors in assigning thescore. Factors include the amount of traffic, amount of left- and right-hand turns from each leg of the intersection, the delay in turning and the gaps in traffic that would make turning easier or more difficult.


The county received a grant from the federal government’s surface transportation program that will pay 80 percent of design costs for intersection changes. Those costs are estimated between $100,000 and $125,000.


According to Coopman, the state now requires an “intersection control evaluation” to determine if a roundabout would work better than a traditional traffic signal. Both would cost about the same, but the county might have to buy additional land to install a roundabout.


Coopman isn’t in favor of a roundabout.


“Generally, they have more maintenance issues,” he said. They’re also more difficult to plow effectively, he said.


The county plans to apply for a federal grant to cover some of the construction costs for either a traffic signal or roundabout, Coopman said. If the county gets the money, construction could start in 2013 or early 2014.


It’s possible the change at County G and Town Line Road might help alleviate perceived problems at Blackhawk Technical College’s entrance on County G. Enrollment at BTC has increased significantly in recent years, and school officials have expressed concerns about potential accidents at the County G entrance.


As engineers ponder changes at the intersection of County G and Town Line Road, they’ll “certainly consider” BTC’s concerns about the County G entrance, Coopman said.



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