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City renews push for three left-turn lanes

City officials once again are hopeful about designating three left-turn lanes on Crest View Drive at Carmichael Road in order to speed traffic through the intersection.

Jim Eulberg, the city's public works and parks director, said last week that the plans for the busy intersection have been forwarded to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and will be implemented as soon as the department gives its approval.

"We have no reason to believe that it won't be approved," Eulberg said.

He said didn't know when the department might reach its decision.

"It's a big deal to us ... but they've to lots of things that to them are more important," he said.

The plan to create three left-turn lanes for eastbound traffic on Crest View turning north onto Carmichael Road was approved two years ago.

The project was delayed, initially, because a large sign mast needed to point motorists through the intersection wasn't readily available.

Then it was postponed while city and state officials considered a reconstruction of the intersection that would have included building a new street from the north end of Gateway Boulevard to the tourist information center.

With that deal now apparently on hold, members of the City Council have returned to the initial idea of putting in the three left-turn lanes.

"We're optimistic that's going to be the case," Eulberg said when asked if the additional left-turn lane will be created this summer.

The state has jurisdiction over the intersection because it is considered part of the I-94 and Carmichael Road interchange.

An employee of the city's own consulting engineering firm, BRA & Associates, had some doubts about plan when it was first broached in the spring of 2004.

The problem, traffic engineer Bryant Ficek reported, is that truckers and motorists tend to veer out of their lanes when rounding corners, creating the potential for accidents.

It is believed that the Crest View/Carmichael intersection would be one of only two or three in the state with three left-turn lanes if it is approved by the Transportation Department.

The City Council believes it would reduce the stacking of eastbound vehicles on Crest View that during peak traffic periods causes gridlock at the Crest View/Gateway Boulevard intersection.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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