FORT ATKINSON — It appears that a proposed Highway 12/Fort Atkinson bypass project will be canceled as a result of action by Gov. Scott Walker this week.
In a letter to Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, this week, Walker said because of citizen concern and “in light of the low likelihood of prompt project enumeration,” he is directing the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to stop its work on the Highway 12/Fort Atkinson bypass study project.
“The department will bring the issue before the Transportation Projects Commission at its next regularly scheduled meeting for further review and discussion,” the letter from Walker stated.
The study project for the highway was ordered by the Transportation Projects Commission in 2002. The Department of Transportation identified a preferred alternative route for the bypass, known as “7a,” and has been in the process of completing and Environmental Impact Statement and filing it for review with the Federal Highway Administration.
“I recognize that Alternative 7a has engendered considerable controversy within the town of Koshkonong,” Walker said, adding that Fitzgerald would likely be aware that any recommendation that would have been made as a result of the study project would need to be evaluated by the Transportation Projects Commission (TPC) and enumerated for construction as a major project before the bypass could be built. “The DOT indicates that the Majors program is filled through 2019 now and that the current traffic volumes in the Fort Atkinson area would not warrant enumeration of this project by the TPC.”
Alternative 7a is one of 18 options that had been under consideration as a bypass route. It runs from an interchange that would have been constructed at Highway 12 and Hoge Road, then follows Creamery and McIntyre roads before attaching to the southern Highway 26 bypass interchange.
Those opposed to the plan have said it would damage property values, cause problems with emergency responses and take away 247 acres of agricultural land.
Walker told Fitzgerald he hoped this potential resolution would be acceptable to him and his constituents.