The Wisconsin Department of Transportation held meetings on March 15, 2018 at the Mt. Pleasant Village Hall to report the latest development in road construction closures as it relates to the Foxconn project. It was attended by officials from all neighboring municipalities, including Somers Trustees, Somers Town Supervisors, Somers Public Works Supervisor, Somers Fire Chief, and Somers Administrative staff.
Highway KR News
The original plan widened Highway KR (Kenosha/Racine County Line Road) from two to nine lanes. That plan has been amended, reducing nine lanes down to six (three in each direction) from I-94 to Highway H. Between Highway H and 90th Street, the lanes on KR have been reduced from six to four. The current plan also includes a twenty foot terrace between the curb and multi-use path in anticipation of adding lanes to accommodate future development. Road reconstruction on KR will be built one-half at a time while roads are kept open.
Another change in Highway KR improves the problem-prone intersection of KR/EA in Somers and 90th Street in Racine County. The new plan removes the “jog” in this intersection by moving a section of EA in Somers to the east where it becomes parallel with 90th Street.
One of the biggest challenges is to keep the traffic flowing during road construction and the construction of the Foxconn campus. The DOT expects 10,000 people per day coming and going into these construction projects. In addition to normal traffic activity, there will be substantial traffic from workers in addition to activity from delivering asphalt, gravel, concrete, steel, and other construction materials.
Traffic, Road Construction, Stormwater
The DOT held a separate meeting specifically related to road construction closures. The primary objective of the meeting was to make sure emergency responders and law enforcement can address emergency situations by alerting everyone about specific work zones, lane and ramp closures, and lane shifts from Highway G in Racine County south to Highway 142 in Kenosha County. Emergency Vehicle Access Allowed (EVAA) areas around ramp closures will be marked. Constructions crews will be working during overnight hours.
Village President George Stoner raised specific concerns and questions to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation relating to stormwater and the flow of water through the Village of Somers into other areas of Kenosha County. The DOT stated they do not want legacy issues in Kenosha regarding problems with wetlands and stormwater. All municipalities involved, included Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser, will be alerted to stormwater planning and design. Stoner also requested additional law enforcement and signage on the frontage road at the Highway E exit which has been selected as a designed truck route for construction. In January 2018, the Village of Somers passed a new ordinance which protects residential neighborhoods and Shoreland Lutheran High School from heavy construction traffic on Highway E traveling east into Somers. When asked if there were plans for addressing traffic on Highway H traveling south into Somers, the DOT responded not at this time; however, it was recommended that Somers should be forward thinking in planning for adequate lane expansion when addressing new development.
Links to Further Information
March 15, 2018 Public Involvement Meeting handout
Travel Closure Schedule
Wisconsin DOT 94 North-South Freeway Project
Wisconvalley information provided by Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Note: Should you wish to receive updates on various items of interest, the home page provides a box to enter your email and subscribe.