Public gives input on State Highway 29/County VV interchange
By Heather Graves
BROWN COUNTY – The public had the chance to weigh in on the proposed State Highway 29/County VV interchange project at a hearing held June 5 at NWTC.
Several dozen came out to review project displays and handouts, ask questions and provide testimony.
Dan Segerstrom, project development supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, said the objective of the public hearing and draft environmental document availability period is to get the most complete expression of public opinion regarding the project aspects.
The busy stretch of highway has had a long history of accidents – seeing at least 60 crashes in the last four years, some causing severe injuries and/or fatalities.
In 2013, for a temporary fix, the state added the restricted crossing J-turn (RCUT) intersections to help traffic enter the highway.
Matt Ternes, Wisconsin Department of Transportation project manager, said the purpose of the WIS 29/County VV interchange project is to address the safety and mobility for traffic along Highway 29 between Shawano and Green Bay.
The project regained momentum in December of last year when it received a $20 million federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD, Transportation Discretionary Grant.
The project includes the construction of a diamond interchange at County VV, the realignment of Milltown Road, connection from County VV to north Overland Road, removal of the existing RCUT intersections at County VV and the removal of access to Highway 29 from County U.
While many at the public hearing showed concern over the removal of access to 29 from County U, Segerstrom said the County U overpass is not currently funded and will not be part of the BUILD grant project.
The project is currently at the draft environmental document stage.
The final environmental document is anticipated to be approved in August of this year.
Construction is expected to start in early 2021 and be completed by late 2022.
“The interchange will separate movement by having people use the off-ramps and that is a proven safety measure to help reduce accidents,” Segerstrom said.
Written public testimony will be accepted through June 17 and should be sent to:
Matt Ternes, WisDOT Project Manager
WisDOT Northeast Region
944 Vanderparren Way
Green Bay, WI 54303