Verona Road opens

Cars travel along Verona Road below the Williamsburg Way bridge on Tuesday, Dec. 10. The three-lane under- and overpass project was completed in November after years of construction.

Years of congestion and sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic along the Verona Road corridor near McKee Road have finally come to an end.

The $200 million project, which started at the interchange with the Beltline in 2013, is the culmination of six years of work to expand the road to three lanes each way and, most notably in Fitchburg, create an underpass at Williamsburg Way and an overpass at McKee Road. All three lanes in each direction opened in mid-November after a little more than three years of construction within City of Fitchburg boundaries.

It’s our top story of the year because it was one of three projects in the area that created traffic congestion and made it infuriating to get to and from Verona and areas southwest of Madison.

For years, travelers on one of the busiest roads in Dane County dealt with lane closures, changed traffic patterns and during the past year, sat and idled sometimes as far as three-quarters of a mile away from the McKee Road intersection.

Construction on the project isn’t done yet, although it’ll have no impact on the overpass over McKee. The state will rebuild the portion of McKee Road starting at Commerce Park Drive and going underneath the overpass this summer, which coincides with the city’s project to rebuild Seminole Highway westward.

Some businesses fell victim to the construction, including Kwik Trip and Picasso’s Pizza on Williamsburg Way and True Coffee Roasters, which moved Monona to escape the orange barrels. Others, like Benjamin Plumbing, took the opportunity to put up a new building, or, like Turn Two Auto Repair, moved elsewhere.

– Kimberly Wethal