Highway 19 in Waunakee to see another roundabout

WAUNAKEE, Wis. (WMTV) -- At the corner of Highway 19 and River Road, traffic is known to back up.

“I've sat at the intersection for anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes trying to get out. It's always somewhat of a pain,” says Juan Cruz, who lives down the street from the intersection.

The stretch of road has seen its fair share of crashes. Those who live nearby say it is about time for a change.

“The construction is long overdue. It's a really terrible intersection,” says Joey Mazzara, who lives down the street from the intersection.

The Department of Transportation has been planning the $10.1 million project for about five years.

“This time they decided that a roundabout would work best with traffic flow, since we get about 28,000 cars a day out here. And they're projected to be around 33,000 cars per day in 2040,” says Alex Hagen, project manager with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Construction began on October 1 of this year and will run until November 16. After that, construction on the road will halt for the winter, and will not be picked up again until April 2020.

“We've all been begging for a roundabout for a while now. But we'd all probably like to have it done sooner,” Mazzara tells NBC15 News, saying he is concerned that a half-finished construction sites will cause problems this winter.

DOT experts say the big reveal will be worth the wait.

“The roundabout will definitely help with the traffic flow, help with the safety concerns," Hagen says. “I mean with the poor visibility and the ever increasing traffic, a roundabout will definitely help move things along."

Construction on the roundabout is set to be finished by November 2020.

This roundabout comes one year after another roundabout was installed at the intersection of Highway 19 and 151. Hagen says since construction has finished there, the number of crashes has decreased dramatically.

NBC15 News reached out to the Wisconsin DOT for crash numbers at the Highway 19 and River Road intersection but have not heard back yet.