WisDOT has plans to ease traffic congestion near Flying J
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is working on a project to add a northbound lane on Highway 65 from the Interstate 94 interchange through the 70th Avenue intersection near Roberts.
According to WisDOT project manager Tara Weiss, construction is anticipated for the summer of 2016. The intersection is expected to remain open to all traffic during the construction.
Weiss said the Highway 65/I-94 interchange, Highway 65 and U.S. Highway 12 through the Roberts area have seen a significant and noticeable increase in traffic volume the past 10 years.
“Recent development includes the abrasive manufacturing plant, expansion of County Concrete and Flying J, all on 70th Avenue,” Weiss said. “Add to that the large amount of yet undeveloped land, and the potential future traffic increases are significant.”
Adding the lane should greatly help with clearing the traffic congestion through the intersection, Weiss said.
The May 29 edition of The New Richmond News included an article about traffic congestion at the Highway 65/70th Avenue intersection. One major cause of this congestion seems to be caused by trucks heading north on Highway 65 turning west onto 70th Avenue, to turn into the Flying J travel complex, which has been operating there since 2012.
WisDOT Northwest Region Communications Manager Chris Ouellette said WisDOT has been aware of the problem.
“Traffic at times can back up to the roundabout, which also has impacts on people getting off and on I-94. This creates an unsafe situation on our state/federal highway system,” Ouellette said.
Weiss said while this problem has become a concern recently, adding a lane through the intersection has been in development for a few years.
“The recent issues with traffic backups at 70th due to the Flying J operations at 70th are not cause for the current project, but rather serve as a validation of the operational issues that we had anticipated would occur without appropriate reconstruction of Highway 65 through the 70th intersection,” Weiss said. “The intersection project has been in development for quite a few years and ultimately we have the funding to complete the work in 2016 and are moving forward on the design.”
For more information visit wi.dot.gov, or contact Weiss at 715-836-2283 or Tara.Weiss@dot.wi.gov.