DOT, county looking into alternate truck route

By Kellen Olshefski

SLN Staff

At least for now, the possibility of an alternate truck route that would send trucks off of Highway 14 down Highway K and away from Walworth’s downtown is out of the Village of Walworth’s hands.

At the March 17 Village of Walworth Highway 14 Ad Hoc Committee meeting, Chairman Tom Connelly Jr. said the village had finally received a response from Walworth County regarding the possibility.

The committee was originally formed at the end of last year with the mission of getting rid of truck traffic from the Village of Walworth downtown area.

Connelly said the idea has been sent along to the Wisconsin DOT, who will wait to see if work has been done exploring the alternate truck route.

Trustee David Rasmussen asked why this would be in the DOT’s hands at this point, considering the truck route would take trucks down a county highway.

Connelly said it could be because half of the alternate route would send trucks down Highway 67, part of which, he said, was resurfaced this past fall.

“So, I guess we’ll wait on that one,” Connelly said. “I’m not going to do anything until I hear from the county, but at least they’re willing to meet on the issue and they’re doing some initial research with the DOT.”

In further discussion at the March 17 meeting, committee members noted the reason behind why the concept has been sent to the DOT could be because of the intersections and what needs to be done regarding turn radiuses.

Rasmussen said if it were to come back that the intersections needed to be redone to accommodate trucks, the village would still need to know whether or not they’re going to allow trucks to travel down the main part of the road.

“If they tell us it’s going to cost a half-million dollars, we’d have an answer and we wouldn’t have to waste time on the intersection question,” he said. “I think they could do their analysis without too much effort and tell us yes or no.”

Connelly said moving forward, the best course of action is to wait to hear from the county for the time being and find out what comes back from the DOT.

Private drive for Onvoy

In other business, the committee discussed the possibility of a private drive for Onvoy, a plastic fabrication company at 610 Beloit St. in Walworth.

Looking at the information, Connelly said it’s all honestly pretty good news.

“This is going to be great for Beloit Street, I can tell you that much,” he said.

Connelly said based on a traffic count from the DOT, there are about 20 to 30 trucks leaving the company each day, the vast majority of which are leaving in the morning and afternoon hours.

He said by approving a private drive for the company – which would connect Beloit Street to Highway 14 – it would potentially remove these trucks from Beloit Street and out of the downtown district.

Rasmussen said with no one else needing them in the area, it could open up the opportunity to create a situation for Beloit Street similar to that of North Main Street, in which trucks would not be allowed.

“They wouldn’t have to go down Beloit Street at all,” he said.

Moving forward with the project, Connelly questioned whether he should contact the company to find out if they need anything from the village and if there might be any financial impact to the village.

Rasmussen said he would recommend contacting the business to find out what the expectations are and also if the company wants to allow some access to the private road.

“As far as looping and stuff, do they want the police to be able to drive through there, do they want anything, or do they want it to be purely private,” he said. “I think that’s the first thing. It says private drive, do they want us to have anything to do with it.”

Rasmussen said being its kind of a loop between Beloit Street and Highway 14 without have to go around the square, he wants to know if the company wants the village to have any public access for things like snowplows and police patrol. If the village isn’t allowed access, Rasmussen said it wouldn’t really be able to pay for any part of the project.

Connelly said with the employee lot being off of Beloit Street, the 60 to possibly 70 employee vehicles would still likely be using Beloit Street, though committee members agreed that it really isn’t a concern to them.

Additionally, Rasmussen noted if the company expands in the future, it will have little effect on truck traffic in the village.

“Get them off Beloit, I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “It’ll save our road for one thing … if they expand, nobody complains about what they’re doing because they’re coming out a different direction.”



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