IXONIA -- The Wisconsin Department of Transportation told the Daily Times Wednesday it plans to let bids on its planned state Highway 16/County Highway F roundabout in Ixonia in February of 2014 for the 2014 road construction season.
"The Ixonia roundabout will be constructed only in the 2014 construction season," Wisconsin DOT Project Manager Lalitha Balachanran told the Daily Times. "It will be let in February, 2014."
After years of planning and high expectations for increased safety, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation early this year informed the town of Ixonia it would likely be delaying reconstruction of the state Highway 16/County Highway F intersection until 2014, due to a lack of promised federal funding.
In a letter to Ixonia in January, Balachandran wrote, "We are very sorry to inform you that the reconstruction of the State Highway 16 and County Highway F intersection has been moved to 2014 construction, due to funding (un)availability."
At one of the final public forums on the matter at Ixonia Town Hall on July 17, 2012, it appeared the project to create a roundabout at the intersection was a done deal for 2013 and one of Jefferson County's most dangerous intersections appeared set for redesign into a roundabout at this point in the spring.
The intersection of Highway 16 and Highway F is currently a two-way stop configuration, with traffic on County Highway F and American Street near the BP gas station halting at stop signs. Law-abiding drivers on Highway 16 flow through the zone at a posted speed of 55 mph, while others blow through at speeds in excess of 65 mph.
The DOT's Highway 16/County Highway F project, which has not been canceled but only postponed until 2014, includes reconstructing the intersection of Highway 16 and County Highway F to address safety problems and improve traffic flow with a roundabout.
Balachandran has said acquisition of right of way has taken place almost completely near the intersection and the state is still awaiting a promised $1.1 million in federal funding to allow the project to commence. The total cost of the project is $1.8 million. Balachandran has also said $700,000 in state funding remains available in 2013 and will be set aside for 2014.
"The plans are ready to go," she said.
At forums on the roundabout proposal for the Highway 16/County Highway F intersection, Ben Wilkinson of Ourston Roundabout Engineers said studies conducted years ago indicate the intersection needs improvement. He said the DOT tabulated crashes there, and between 2004 and 2008 a total of 19 collisions were recorded. Ten of these resulted in injuries. One of the crashes was fatal.
Planners of the Ixonia roundabout said construction will take four to five months to complete.