Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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State planning road work on highways 50, 67

by Chris Schultz

October 06, 2011

WILLIAMS BAY — It's been a while since Highway 50 has been resurfaced, and some of the 30 residents who showed up at Williams Bay High School on Sept. 28 said the project is needed.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation sponsored the public meeting to present the proposed improvements and repairs on Highway 50 between Lake Geneva and Williams Bay and on Highway 67 between Williams Bay and Elkhorn.

Gary Metzer, project manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, said that plans for the two highways are preliminary, and the DOT was still taking concerns, complaints and suggestions from residents about the proposed projects.

Designers are still completing environmental documents and preliminary drafts before a final design is completed next year.

Rob Pesche, owner of Pesche's Greenhouse, W4080 Hwy 50, said he was especially concerned about DOT's plans to close off access to his parking lot from Highway 50. "They want to close what we consider our main entrance," said Pesche, His greenhouse business is about three miles west of Lake Geneva on the north side of the highway.

The business has another entrance off South Como Road, but the road is narrow, making it difficult for semi-tractor trailers to make the turn.

And during the spring, the road has weight limits, Pesche said.

Pesche said the DOT should widen the approach to his Highway 50 entrance and create a turn lane there. Otherwise, South Como Road will need to be widened and improved to accommodate his business, he said.

Walworth County Supervisor David Weber, who represents the Williams Bay area, said he believes the work on Highway 50 needs to be done, "as long as it doesn't sacrifice the flow of traffic to businesses along the highway."

He said he supports Pesche's requests that DOT maintain his business' access directly off Highway 50.

Metzer said the DOT will consider all suggestions from the public.

Work on 3.5 miles of Highway 50 will be from the western Lake Geneva city limit to just beyond the Geneva Street intersection at the northeast village limit of Williams Bay.

The work is expected to start in the spring or early summer of 2013, with work being completed in the fall of that year.

Originally built in 1960, this section of Highway 50 was resurfaced in 1980 and 1994.

Work on 3.3 miles of Highway 67 is scheduled to begin in spring or early summer of 2014, with completion that fall.

Both stretches of highway will be milled down and resurfaced.

On Highway 50, a hill at Cisco Road will be cut down to improve sight lines for about 600 feet in either direction.

Turning lanes will be added at the intersections and some median openings will be revised.

Culvert pipe will be replaced and 2 more feet of shoulder will be paved, to increase shoulder width to 5 feet.

New signs and pavement markings will be added.

Highway 67 will be resurfaced from Highway 50 north to Commerce Drive in Elkhorn.

In addition to milling and resurfacing, the Highway 67 project will include milling and resurfacing, widening paved shoulders from 2 to 5 feet, adding dedicated right turn lanes at the intersections, adding bicycle lanes, replacing guard rails and culvert and adding new signs and pavement markings.

Originally built in 1965 and 1976, this section of Highway 67 had been