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Input sought on Interstate interchange design

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JAMES P. LEUTE
May 22, 2012
— The public will get a second chance to offer input on the design of the proposed interchange reconstruction on Interstate 90/39 at Racine Street in Janesville.

Work is scheduled to start on the interchange next year, a full two years before the Interstate is widened from four lanes to six from the Wisconsin/Illinois state line and the Beltline in Madison.


The state's Department of Transportation is proposing to replace the interchange cloverleaf ramps with a diamond interchange with two roundabouts.


The interchange has been the scene of numerous accidents in part because of its design.


In both directions, traffic leaving the Interstate at Racine Street has been forced to compete with motorists trying to merge onto the highway.


This project is in the preliminary design stages but has an accelerated schedule with final plans due in November 2012.


While full-blown work on the Interstate expansion will start in 2015 and run into 2021, federal safety funds are available next year for the Racine Street interchange because of high accident rates, DOT officials have said.


Jim Oettinger, the DOT manager on the interchange project, said the two roundabouts actually would be constructed a little south of the existing Racine Street.


That, he said, will allow eastbound and westbound traffic on Racine—also known as Highway 11—to get through the construction zone more safely.


Oettinger said the public is encouraged to attend the meeting, provide input and ask questions regarding the project.


IF YOU GO
What: A second public information meeting to present the preliminary plan for the selected alternative of the Interstate 90/39 and Racine Street interchange.
When: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 30.
Where: Room 416 at the Janesville Municipal Building, 18 N. Jackson St., Janesville.
For more information: Those unable to attend or who want more information should contact Jim Oettinger at (608) 246-3879. Written comments regarding the project can be mailed to Jim Oettinger, WisDOT Project Manager, 2101 Wright Street, Madison, WI 53704.

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