State 23 freeway plan advancing

DOT ready to map bypass from 57 to O
by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff


THE STATE DEPARTMENT of Transportation is moving forward with plans for converting State 23 to a freeway north of the city of Plymouth. Those plans, which will be presented in a public involvement meeting that will be held sometime this summer, include extending the Kiley Way frontage road west to Fairview Drive (A), and closing intersections at County O (B), County E (C) and Pleasant View Road (D). — Wisconsin Department of Transportation map THE STATE DEPARTMENT of Transportation is moving forward with plans for converting State 23 to a freeway north of the city of Plymouth. Those plans, which will be presented in a public involvement meeting that will be held sometime this summer, include extending the Kiley Way frontage road west to Fairview Drive (A), and closing intersections at County O (B), County E (C) and Pleasant View Road (D). — Wisconsin Department of Transportation map PLYMOUTH – Other projects along State 23 may still be in limbo, but the state Department of Transportation appears ready to finalize plans for a frontage road between Pleasant View Road and Fairview Drive.

DOT officials are looking to make the map for the State 23 freeway corridor segment between State 57 and County O (Fairview Drive) north of the city official sometime this year, Plymouth City Administrator Brian Yerges told the City Council last week.

The DOT held a stakeholders meeting on the State 23 freeway designation and corridor preservation plan May 9. The department plans a public involvement meeting sometime this summer and a public hearing over the winter, after which Yerges said he expects the plans will be finalized.

Long-standing plans to expand State 23 to four lanes between Plymouth and Fond du Lac have been delayed by a ruling from U.S. Eastern District Court Judge Lynn Adelman.

The DOT also has several possible alternatives for a bypass route west of County O to State 67. The Plymouth Town Board has refused to endorse the DOT’s preferred alternative, which would route the bypass through the River Heights subdivision in the town.

“There have been a lot of different discussions, a lot of different concepts thrown out there,” Yerges said of the long-standing study of the State 23 freeway corridor between State 57 and 67. “This is an issue I’ve been working on for six years and it predates me.”

The DOT’s recommended alternative between Pleasant View Road and Fairview Drive calls for extending Kiley Way west across County E (Highland Avenue), then looping north and west before connecting with the existing Fairview Drive just south of its intersection with State 23.

In conjunction, the current intersections of State 23 with County O, County E and Pleasant View Road would all be closed.

The proposed map shows an overpass to be constructed on State 23 over County E. Pleasant View Road would dead-end at County O north of State 23 and at a cul-desac to be constructed south of State 23.

The only interchanges on State 23 would be at State 57 and State 67 under the plan.

“The fact that they’re mapping this and not mapping other proposals indicates to me that they’re committed to this,” Yerges told the council.

He stressed that these are long-range plans for the State 23 corridor and would not be implemented in the near future.

“It could be built, I would guess, between 15 and 20 years from now,” Yerges predicted.

The stakeholders meeting also reported on the results of improvements along State 23 that were constructed in 2013 in the towns of Plymouth and Sheboygan Falls.

For all of the intersections reconstructed in that project, the DOT reported, the average severe crashes per year were reduced.

At the J-turn intersection on State 23 at County M in the town of Sheboygan Falls, that number fell from an average of 0.9 severe crashes between 2000 and 2013 to none in 2014 or 2015.

Similarly, the three intersections reconstructed in the town of Plymouth north of the city – at Pleasant View Road, County E and County O – saw severe crashes fall to none in 2014 or 2015. That compares to a yearly average from 2000 to 2013 of 2.0 severe crashes at the County E intersection, 1.6 severe crashes at the County P intersection and 0.9 severe crashes at the Pleasant View Road intersection.


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