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ATV/UTV route across Wisconsin River moving toward approval
In Boscobel

BOSCOBEL - A much-anticipated ATV/UTV route connecting Crawford County to the City of Boscobel is moving toward approval. The route will run along Highway 60, from the Crawford County Highway E intersection to the intersection with Highway 61, and then along Highway 61 across the Wisconsin River bridge.

The City of Boscobel held a meeting with Department of Transportation (DOT) employee Steve Flottmeyer to discuss the steps needed to make the route a reality on January12. The meeting was also attended by Crawford County Highway Commissioner, Kyle Kozelka, and State Representative Travis Tranel.

“The City of Boscobel has requested permission from DOT to use a stretch of Highway 60 in Crawford County, and Highway 61 across the bridge over the Wisconsin River, as a route for ATV/UTV traffic,” Flottmeyer said. “In order for DOT to approve this use, one municipality on each side of the bridge would have to adopt an ordinance approving the use.”

At their January 17 meeting, the Boscobel Common Council approved a resolution requesting that DOT approve ATV/UTV use across the Highway 61 North Bridge across the Wisconsin River within Boscobel, pursuant to Chapter 7.165 of the City of Boscobel Municipal Code. 

According to Marietta Township Clerk Clifford Monroe, the town board passed a resolution supporting the route at a meeting in 2020, and is working with the DOT at present to ensure their support for the project.

Kozelka said that Crawford County will need to amend their ordinance to include the approved ATV route along Highway 60. The Town of Marietta adopted Crawford County’s ATV/UTV ordinance as their town ordinance, so when Crawford County makes the change to include their route, that will also change Marietta’s ordinance.

“I expect that we will be able to craft a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the state and the municipalities by March, which will hopefully allow the new trail to be marked, and up and running, by April,” Flottmeyer said.

Flottmeyer explained that after the MOA is established, an ATV route order will be developed. The route order will reference the MOA. Once the route order has been approved, he said, this constitutes WisDOT’s approval of the local unit of government’s route designation. The local unit of governments then applies for an ATV signing permit. Once the ATV route signs are up, the route is legal for ATV operation.

“The local Grant County ATV club has some signs in their inventory, and wants to know if they would meet WisDOT compliance,” Flottmeyer said. “We will check in with our signing crew and let you know.”

ATV/UTV drivers operating on state highways are required to exit the highway onto a designated ATV/UTV route in the municipality at the first opportunity. In the case of the route from the bridge crossing the Wisconsin River along Highway 60 to the west, drivers would be required to leave 60 at the Crawford County Highway E intersection.

 “ATV/UTV riders operating outside of the posted route on Highway 60, will be operating illegally.  The local clubs do a fantastic job of providing maps in both hard copy, and electronic format via their social media/websites; so we encourage all ATV/UTV operators to plan ahead, in order to ensure that they are operating on open routes and trails,” Kozelka said.

While operating their ATV/UTV on Highways 60 and 61, operators will be required to stay within the white fog lines marked on the edge of the highways. Riding outside of those lines is not allowed. 

There was discussion of what the speed limit for ATV/UTV traffic on Highways 60 and 61 along the approved route would be. Kozelka said that on roads under the jurisdiction of Crawford County, the speed limit is 35 miles-per-hour (mph). He said, however, that the county ordinance does not apply to state or federal highways. Grant County’s ATV/UTV ordinance stipulates that, “no ATV/UTV shall be operated at a speed greater than posted speed limits.” Molzof said that all streets in the City are open to ATV/UTV traffic, with a speed limit of 35 mph.

This means that ATV/UTV operators travelling on Highways 60 or 61, along the approved route, are required to observe the posted speed limit of 55 mph along those stretches.

Molzof asked Flottneyer if the DOT would consider reducing the speed limit on the bridge below 55. Flottmeyer stated that the DOT had conducted a traffic study for that stretch of road which indicated that 55 mph was the correct speed limit there. For this reason, he said, the DOT would not consider a speed limit reduction. 

“The reason to consider lowering the speed limit in that stretch would be because the City’s improvements at the boat landing will likely produce more traffic,” Boscobel Police Chief Jaden McCullick said. “I don’t think we would need to lower the speed limit for ATV/UTV traffic.”