State 22, County QQ project under way
Motorists travelling through the State Highway 22 work zone at County QQ can expect to encounter some flagging operations and delays but no closures during the project.
Construction began Monday, Aug. 27 on improving the intersection of State 22, County QQ and Old 22 in Dayton. It is slated to be completed by the end of October.
Project managers with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the engineering firm Houle Enterprises and the contractor RC Excavating spoke about the project Thursday, Aug. 30, at the Dayton Town Hall.
Jesse Houle, with Houle Enterprises, said the project will involve widening the intersection, adding a raised concrete median, concrete curbs and new sewers.
State 22 will have a left-turn lane, a through lane and a right-turn lane going in both directions on State 22.
There will be two street lights at the intersection but no traffic controls other than stop signs on Old 22 and County QQ.
Dayton Town Chairman Chris Klein said the new intersection will be similar to the one in front of Waupaca High School at State 22 and County Road K, except there will be no traffic lights.
The gravel shoulders on State 22 will be replaced by paved shoulders, which will be eight feet wide on the north side and five feet wide on the south side of the highway, running about 2,000 feet from the intersection.
There will also be a right-turn lave off of County QQ with a raised divider.
Although Waupaca County Supervisor Bob Ellis said he was glad a roundabout was not installed at the intersection, several of those attending the meeting asked why the DOT had decided against it.
"I think the improvement is going to be great for those on 22, but not for people trying to get across it," Jane Haasch said.
Stacia Johnson said she bikes in the area with her children and considers the intersection dangerous and difficult to cross. She described long waits at the intersection to get from County QQ to Old 22.
Dan Holloway, the DOT project manager, said the DOT examined the possibility of a roundabout at the intersection but found there was not enough traffic for a roundabout.
"It probably would have been a roundabout had there been enough traffic volume to warrant it," Holloway said.
He said the DOT recognized the intersection’s safety issues.
"We have built a lot of intersections similar to this," Holloway said. "This type of intersection has proven to be safer."
He said concerns over safety are why the DOT was able to obtain federal funding to pay for 90 percent of the $1.1 million project. The remainder is coming from the state.
Johnson also asked if the DOT had considered reducing the speed limit on State 22 near the intersection. Holloway said no.
RC Excavating is the lead contractor for the project. Crews will remove the pavement and culvert pipes, widen the roadway and lay a base during the first stage of construction in late August and early September.
Matt Athey, with RC Excavating, said temporary asphalt lanes will also be installed during the first phase so that cars can be shifted to the other side of the highway to allow traffic to flow past the construction site.
Storm sewers and a retaining wall will be installed in the second phase, along with grading.
While State 22 will remain open to through traffic during construction, County QQ may sometimes have only one lane open with a flagger.
"There will be a couple of periods of one or two days when Old 22 will be closed," Athey said, noting that Old 22 was not wide enough to maintain an open lane during some construction operations.
Signs will be posted indicating a 45 mph speed limit through the work zone.
Athey urged motorists to slow down while going through the site. He noted that crews are working in close proximity to the moving traffic, as well as trucks and equipment operating in the work zone.
Klein asked local residents to find alternative routes if possible in order to avoid the work zone.
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