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Board hears update on plans for Highway 60 improvements
Lower Wisconsin Riverway
DOT_Jewell_reps update LWSRB
DOT REPRESENTATIVE Terri Schopp and a representative of Jewell Associates update the Lower Wisconsin Riverway Board on plans for a highway improvement project on Highway 60, between Muscoda and Gotham. The project is in preliminary planning stages now, and is expected to be undertaken between 2027 and 2028.

LOWER WISCONSIN RIVERWAY - The featured presenters at the October 13 meeting of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board (LWSRB) meeting in Prairie du Chien were Teri Schopp from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), and a representative of Jewell Associates. The two were present to update the board on plans for an extensive project on Highway 60, between Muscoda and Gotham in 2027.

“This is the only stretch of Highway 60 that has not been upgraded,” Schopp pointed out. “Plans for the project have been delayed many times, with multiple different project scopes, due to its archaeological and social impacts.”

The project is described as providing complete improvements to the stretch of highway, replacing deteriorating pavement, widening the roadway, improvement of horizontal and vertical curves, update of roadside barriers and addressing of drainage concerns.

The Jewell representative explained that the project, as currently planned, would take place in three segments, and could last beyond 2027 into 2028. The first section will run from Highway 80 to Bremmer Canoe Rental, the second from Bremmer Canoe Rental to where the highway leaves the river, and the third from the public roadside to Highway 14 in Gotham.

“We intend to produce as little disturbance to screening vegetation between the road and the river as possible,” the Jewell associate explained. “What this will mean is that rock cuts, and set backs for rock falls will be required.”

The Jewell Associate said that in the second segment of the project, some properties will need to be purchased, and others will be able to choose what to do with their properties without road access.

“We’ve already begun to hold meetings with property owners, with a real estate agent present to help answer questions,” Schopp explained. “I think it went well, and starting early gives people time to make the choices they will have to make.”

The Jewell Associate said that one property with historic significance will not be bought out.

The third phase of the project will see the most dramatic changes in the road course. This is because the project is moving around features in that area that have archaeological significance such as mounds.

“We will be fully rebuilding this stretch of the highway on a course away from the river,” the Jewell Associate said. “This means that the old section of the road will be obliterated and re-seeded, with local access created for Schmidt Lane.”

Improvements listed for this segment include 12-foot travel lanes with six-foot shoulders, curb and gutter in some sections on the north side, beam guard replacement in various areas on the south side, upgrade of intersections, and curb and gutter on the urban section of the road in Gotham.

The project is currently in the preliminary design phase, and the next step will be a signed environmental document scheduled for February of 2024. Real estate acquisitions are scheduled for August of 2024 to August of 2026, and final plans are scheduled for August of 2026.

Director’s report

LWSRB Executive Director Mark Cupp also reported to the board on the upcoming project to resurface Highway 60 between Highway 18 and Old Highway 60 in 2023. He said that DOT’s project website contains current information, and the milling and overlay project is currently scheduled for 2023.

Cupp said he had attended a meeting about a joint project of Sauk and Dane counties to create a recreational bridge over the Wisconsin River. He said he has agreed to sit on the design team, and would attend another meeting in coming weeks, and provide a more complete report at the board’s November meeting.

“This project has a very aggressive timeline, and both counties have agreed to commit significant funds to the project,” Cupp said. “The bridge has to be rebuilt with specifications allowing for its use as both a recreational and railroad bridge in the future.”

Last, Cupp reported that the LWSRB will hold an open house at their offices in Muscoda for final public input on the cultural and historic map of the Riverway. The meeting will take place on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The map is being developed by UW-Madison graduate Christina Dennis as her senior capstone project.

He said that the final draft of the map can be viewed at:

At that site, interested persons can view the map and submit comments online.

In other business

In other business, the board:

• approved issuance of a structure permit to Nancy and Doyle Lewis for construction of a new house on land visible from the river in the Town of Woodman, Grant County to replace an existing house conforming with the Riverway performance standards

• heard that the LWSRB’s biennial budget request for $266,000 in each of the years of the 2023-2025 state budget had been submitted to the Department of Administration

• heard that the bridge replacement between Blue River and Port Andrew, scheduled for 2027-2028, would replace the sections over the main channel and the Little Tiger, and at this point is projected to cause a two-year bridge closure

• heard that Cupp will host North Crawford 4K students at Frank’s Hill this week

• heard that the Governor’s office had notified him that another candidate for the open recreational seat on the board from Trempealeau County had stepped forward

• heard that flow on the river is well below normal at 5,000 cfs, with average flows for this time of year at 6,000 cfs

• heard from Forest Jahnke of Crawford Stewardship Project that the DNR and Crawford County had approved a livestock facility siting permit for the Roth Feeder Pigs II hog CAFO contingent on receipt of an updated nutrient management plan. He said Roth’s current NMP has many discrepancies, with a third of the listed acres not available for spreading, and 95 percent of the acres rented

• heard from Jahnke that Crawford and Vernon counties would conduct another round of well water testing in the ongoing Driftless Area Water Study (DAWS). @font-face {font-family:Arial; panose-1:2 11 6 4 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-536859905 -1073711037 9 0 511 0;}@font-face {font-family:Times; panose-1:2 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;}@font-face {font-family:"MS 明朝"; panose-1:0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-format:other; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;}@font-face {font-family:"MS 明朝"; panose-1:0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-format:other; mso-font-pitch:fixed; mso-font-signature:1 134676480 16 0 131072 0;}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝";}a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; color:blue; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;}a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; color:purple; mso-themecolor:followedhyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;}.MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-fareast-font-family:"MS 明朝";}div.WordSection1 {page:WordSection1;}