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Construction begins Monday on Highway 12 pedestrian safety improvement project in Altoona

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 9:45 AM CDT
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is announcing that construction will start on a pedestrian safety improvement project on Highway 12 Monday.

The project will take place along a developing stretch of U.S. 12 where a pedestrian died in 2017.

“This particular connection is really keystone in that the whole system relies upon,” says Joshua Clements, Altoona city planner.

The DOT will be adding a pair of 10-foot shared-use paths for pedestrians to cross Highway 12 at the 3rd Street East/County Highway A intersection located east of Highway 53. Additionally, new pedestrian signals and a crosswalk will be added to the intersection. Sidewalks on the north side will be added to North Hillcrest Parkway, while a new road to the south will connect Highway 12 with Windsor Forest Drive.

“We only have one crossing of Highway 12 right now in the city of Altoona,” explains Clements. “So we can have all these great trails through Hillcrest and we can have all these great trails on the north side of Highway 12 which we have, but if you cant get that gap even though its a few hundred feet, the whole system is less effective.”

The goal of the project is to help pedestrians cross from the south side of Highway 12 at the 3rd Street East/County Highway A intersection rather than the intersection at Nottingham Way to the east, which does not have traffic signals.

Project manager Nathan Ulness says they’ll begin by installing intersection signals.

“What that will do is allow a safe passage across us 12 here just like a typical you push the button and you’ll be able to cross at their own pace and we’ll give them enough time to cross the road,” Ulness says.

The project, which has a cost of $113,363, according to the contract signed by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, will be completed by McCabe Construction of Eau Claire. Traffic impacts include temporary lane closures on Highway 12, as well as shoulder closures. The project has an expected completion date of early September, depending on weather conditions.

A map showing the location of a road construction project set to begin July 26, 2021.
A map showing the location of a road construction project set to begin July 26, 2021.(WEAU)

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