The Village of Oregon and the surrounding area are in for a summer of traffic disruptions.
While the state’s “Safer at Home” order remains in place, public works director Jeff Rau said, any construction projects taking place should have minimal impacts on residents and people passing through the village. But once normal traffic resumes, a combination of state, local and out-of-the-area projects could make commuting difficult.
One of those is the $1.6 million rebuild of the intersection of Janesville and Park streets, which is on the agenda for the Monday, April 20, meeting of the Village Board, as a bond sale is needed to finance the project.
Another major project is the state Department of Transportation’s replacement of bridges at U.S. Hwy. 14, which began April 6 and will restrict access to the highway at both Hwy. 138 and County Hwy. MM and cut off the direct link to Stoughton for two months.
Others that could cause headaches are the reconstruction of Lincoln Road, on the border between the village and the Town of Oregon, and even the rebuild of the Fish Hatchery Road in the City of Fitchburg, which could send traffic to alternate north-south routes between Oregon and Madison.
Rau said the Janesville and Park Street intersection rebuild will commence as soon as the Village Board approves the bond sale. That had been scheduled for March 16, but trustees canceled that meeting after the state and county began taking actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic on March 11.
“We’ve put the brakes on a lot of things,” Rau said. “Right now, there is kind of this great unknown.”
During the rebuild of the Janesville-Park intersection, Rau said, access will be reduced, but not eliminated.
He said the village will maintain single lane traffic throughout the construction process.
The project will add traffic lights and left-turn lanes on all approaches. It also features dual approach lanes on Janesville from both directions and pedestrian crossing islands at the center of Janesville Street.
It 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 will connect to the U.S. Hwy. 14 roundabouts, and the village is adding two new water mains and sanitary sewers.
Rau said the four lanes on Janesville Street will drop to two throughout the 12-week project, he said, and Park Street might have temporary closures, but there will be detour and alternative routes and drivers will still be able to access affected businesses.
The project is scheduled to be finished by Labor Day for the start of the 2020 school year.
The village had considered the possibility of a roundabout, as required by the state, but the village chose traffic signals after that plan received overwhelming support from 40 public meeting attendees in summer 2019.
U.S. 14 bridges
The closures at U.S. 14 are part of a DOT project to replace six bridges between Oregon and Madison.
The deck at 138/Janesville is part of the first phase, which began Monday, April 6, requires both northbound and southbound lanes to be closed, Rau said. Both lanes of traffic along 14 will be rerouted to the on/off ramps and through the roundabouts, and travel under the bridge won’t be allowed. This will last until mid-June, he said.
According to a DOT memo, signage will be placed along U.S. 14 and County MM to alert the traveling public of the WIS 138 closure.
Westbound and eastbound U.S. 14, the memo states, will have a lane closure between WIS 138 and the Madison Beltline. One lane of traffic will remain open at all times, the memo states. Work will take place on a bridge above County MM during this closure.
Temporary roadway and crossover work will also take place for this closure, and last into September, according to the memo.
The reconstruction of Lincoln Road will go from Union Road to the western boundary of the Legend of Bergamont golf course. That project will include 1,200 feet of a 12-inch water main that will connect to Oregon’s water tower, Rau said.
Rau said scheduling for that project isn’t known yet, as it is still in the design phase. But it will result in road closures, he said, which will likely cause disruptions for drivers later in the summer.
“We have a lot of people who use Lincoln Road as access to the village,” he said. “That will be finalized within the next few weeks.”
The $20.3 million Fish Hatchery reconstruction started April 1.
The project has been split into two summer phases and will reconstruct all six lanes of both north- and southbound Fish Hatchery Road.
During the project, there will be one lane going each way, and there will be temporary intersection closures.