Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk and Other Officials Cut Ribbon on Middleton County M Project
August 10, 2007
Topf Wells, Office of County Executive, (608) 266-9069
Motorists moving along the north shore of Lake Mendota on County Highway M will find safer, more convenient travel conditions, thanks to the final set of road improvements just completed on that highway. Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk joined other County and City of Middleton officials in cutting the ribbon for these improvements on Friday, August 10 at 2:00 p.m. Falk said: “County M is an important route for Middleton, the northern part of Madison, and communities to the north such as Waunakee and Westport. With three phases of work, starting in 2004 and ending now, the highway has been thoroughly modernized. It’s safer, more convenient, and more attractive for drivers, bicyclists, and the people who live or work along the road.”
The final phase of the three-phase County Highway M project runs from County Highway Q north to Signature Drive, a distance of 1.1 miles. Major work is completed and the road was opened to traffic August 8. Detail work will be completed August 24, weather permitting. The project finished on time and on budget.
This project completes the $7 million, 5.4 mile renovation of Highway M which began in 2004. The first phase, from STH 113 to Willow Drive, expanded the highway to four lanes to ease congestion problems associated with the intersection in this area. The second phase, from Willow Drive to Signature Drive, completed last year made several improvements at the intersections, added turn lanes, medians and a wider bicycle lane. Traffic lights were installed at the intersections of County K and Woodland Drive. Two feet were added to the width of the highway.
The second phase also involved the replacement of the bridge over Spring Creek and a box culvert for the future North Mendota Trail – a roughly 7-mile route proposed to run from the Schumacher Farm through Governor Nelson State Park to the Pheasant Branch Conservancy in Middleton.
This final phase resurfaced the urban four-lane section of County M, added turn lanes, extended medians and provided a wider bike lane. Accesses were combined in the urban section to provide for safer ingress and egress for the residents as well as better traffic flow for CTH M.
The federal/state government has funded 80 percent of the project’s costs, with 20 percent coming from the local units of government ($185,000 from Dane County, $35,000 from the City of Middleton). Cost of the final phase is approximately $800,000.
Dane County Board Supervisor Mark Opitz thanked motorists for their patience and safe driving as these improvements were installed. “Road construction is inconvenient, but I think that our residents will find the results worth it. County M is a better, safer road than it was.”
Dane County Board Supervisor Dorothy Wheeler said: “These improvements will make it easier for many of my constituents to travel from the north side of Madison to Middleton, Waunakee and the west side.”
Dane County Board Supervisor Eileen Bruskewitz could not attend but issued the following statement: “Traffic Safety is the number one issue for our roadways. With the County M improvements, people traveling by car and also by bicycle can feel more secure. We’ve taken some long detours along the way, but the project is complete and the people who use County M as the major east-west corridor through the north side of the county will travel a much safer road.”
Dane County Board Supervisor Paul Rusk also issued the following statement: “It is fortunate Dane County was able to move forward on these important safety enhancements on County Highway M using federal, state and local dollars. The North Lake Mendota Parkway project will take many years to move up on the state’s priority list, so it is critical to work at the local level to make the important safety improvements we are celebrating today.”
Falk concluded: “These projects, along with those completed on County Highway K last year, keep the promise the County Board and I made to residents of the area to accelerate the improvements of traffic safety and congestion. These improvements will make a good and important difference. We also, of course, continue to address long term traffic issues with projects such as the North Mendota Parkway.”
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