Southwest Wisconsin counties call for more action to fix rural roads

Published: Jan. 26, 2020 at 9:45 PM CST
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Four southwestern Wisconsin counties — Lafayette, Iowa, Green and Dane — are calling for more action to fix bad roads in rural areas.

NBC15 heard from drivers and county leaders ahead of a listening session planned for Monday evening.

Mike Berg lives in rural Lafayette County. Driving for a living, he said he is fed up with rocky roads.

"My back isn't great anyway but with the bumpy roads, it isn't getting any better," Berg said.

Berg said County Highway F is particularly bad.

"Rough surfaces and sharp corners that need to be straightened," Berg explained, adding, "People don't like to lose their fillings and lose their dentures as they're driving down the road, they want to keep them in their mouth."

Iowa County officials share Berg's safety concerns.

"We have to worry about our people and kids in buses," said Iowa County Board Supervisor Rick Rolfsmeyer.

Rolfsmeyer and other county leaders plan to hear from more people like Berg at a listening session on Monday night. The session will focus primarily on County Highway F.

Rolfsmeyer said state legislators and Department of Transportation officials will also be at the session.

"We want to talk to our state officials and see if there's any way we can get more support," he said.

While Highway F runs just over four miles in Iowa County, the areas of concern stretch for about 25 miles.

Improving and redoing the four-mile stretch just in Iowa County is expected to cost $5.2 million. The county can only contribute $2 million.

Drivers like Berg hope Monday's listening session will help get more funding to fix the road.

"Make it safe for our kids and our grandkids and everybody to work and to drive on," Berg said.

Iowa County has requested state and federal construction funding to improve Highway F. The county will find out if they are granted state funding in March and will find out about federal funding in May.

Monday's listening session will start at 7 p.m. at Pecatonica High School in Blanchardville.

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