Janesville/Park signalizing plan discussed Jan. 16

The intersection of Janesville and Park streets is scheduled to get stoplights this summer and the Village of Oregon is holding a meeting for anyone interested in learning about how they may be affected.

The informational session on the intersection and the Park Street reconstruction project is from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, at Village Hall, 117 Spring St., in the board room. The public will be able to view the plans and ask questions about the design.

Public works director Jeff Rau told the Observer the design plan includes the reconstruction of the intersection, including traffic lights and left-turn lanes on all approaches, dual approach lines on Janesville from both directions and pedestrian crossing islands at the center of Janesville Street.

The design also includes reconstruction of the pavement and curb on Janesville Street from Kwik Trip to the intersection and of Park Street south from the intersection to Lexington Drive. Sidewalks and paths would connect to the U.S. Hwy. 14 roundabouts.

Two new water mains and sanitary sewers will also be constructed as a part of the project.

While the exact cost of the project won’t be known until a bid is accepted, the village’s capital improvement plan estimates the project will be around $800,000.

The design will be completed later this month, Rau said, as engineers have been completing surveying and wetland delineation studies as a part of the process.

“The engineers have been working on the plans for several months,” he said.

The next step after the session, Rau said, is finalizing the plans by Jan. 23. He said bids will then go out in early February, with construction starting in spring.

The village decided to put a stoplight at the widened intersection, rather than a roundabout, in June 2019. The state Department of Transportation requires roundabouts to be considered whenever a signaled intersection is proposed.

The stoplight plan received overwhelming support from more than 40 informational meeting attendees last summer, Rau said.

Rau told the Observer in June a roundabout would have restricted access to businesses along the intersection.

Typically, roundabouts reduce the severity of crashes and keep traffic moving more smoothly but take more room, are more expensive and are more difficult for pedestrians to navigate.

For information about the session, call the village at 835-3118.

Email Emilie Heidemann at emilie.heidemann@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at @HeidemannEmilie.