UPDATE: I-39/90 expansion project groundbreaking is this week

By: Chris Woodard Email
By: Chris Woodard Email

UPDATED Monday, June 10, 2013 --- 11:53 a.m.

The official start of construction for the I-39/90 expansion project kicks off this week.

A groundbreaking ceremony at the corner of I-39/90 and Highway 11 in Janesville takes place Thursday, June 13.

According to the DOT, the reconstruction of Interstate 39/90 in Dane and Rock Co. will be one of the largest highway projects undertaken in south central Wisconsin.

The project will expand the Interstate from four to six lanes from the state line to Madison. The road will expand to eight lanes through Janesville.

The project is scheduled for 2015-2021.


POSTED: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 --- 5:45 p.m.

Tonight we're getting our first look at what a much larger Interstate 39/90 may look like.

Soon a project will begin to expand the road and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is looking for help making decisions on a couple different parts of this project.

We're talking about the section of the Interstate from the state line to Madison.

It will be expanded from 4 lanes to at least 6 lanes and possibly 8 lanes through Janesville.

Tonight the DOT is asking for help deciding what the south section of that road will look like, from the state line to Janesville.

According to the DOT it's the largest project this region has seen in decades.

That section of interstate is traveled by thousands and many who drive it know the feeling of break lights and backups.

Sarah Johnston-Rodriguez says, "The good part is that maybe we won't have the traffic jams we get."

Johnston-Rodriguez drives I-39/90 twice a week.

She commutes all the way from Madison to DeKalb, Illinois and she's looking forward to a wider road, but not the construction.

She says, "Realistically I kind of dread it because it's going to be prolonged."

Work will begin next year and the majority of construction will get underway in 2015.

There are a lot of decisions to make between now and then. The first look at possible road designs gives the public a chance to weigh in.

South segment project manager Steve Marshall says, "People give us input on we prefer traffic signals, we prefer roundabouts, we like the way these operate, things like that."

Right now there are three options for the I-43, I-39 interchange.

In one option they remove the clover leaf ramps and add flyover ramps.

In another they provide access into a nearby industrial park area.

In a third they're able to provide that access and still give I-43 access into the city in the same spot.

One negative to this project is no one ever likes the state taking their land away. But it will happen in a few areas.

Forward Janesville President John Beckord says, "It's worth that cost."

He argues it has to be done, saying, "This is enormously important for our economic development future."

It's an important project with important decisions to be made and a chance for those who drive the road to be a part of it all.

Best case scenario the construction would be completed around the year 2021 but there are still a lot of things to be decided before they begin moving any dirt.

Tonight's meeting is part of the planning stages.

Project leaders say they'll be looking for public input throughout the process.

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