The HADC supports proposed State Highway 60 truck reliever route.
Here are some key facts related to the project to help you better understand our position:
Washington County Reliever Route Quick Facts
- The reduction of trucks from local streets makes traffic patterns safer and more predictable, and removes large vehicles from constricted intersections.
- Reducing traffic volume and alleviating traffic congestion on Hwy 60 enhances the safety of the Hartford and Slinger areas for large and small business owners, residents, and all people who travel this route. A safe community encourages economic development and expansion, which is essential for the continued prosperity of our county overall.
- Hwy 60, from the intersection of Interstate 41 (I41) west to Independence Ave. has become one of most traveled sections of roadway in the county, behind only I41 and U.S. Hwy 45. Three places along this section of Hwy 60 are seeing average weekday traffic volume of 25,000+ vehicles – this is approaching average traffic volumes seen on U.S. Hwy 45 and I41.
- The average daily traffic on this section of Hwy 60 is still greater than the most highly traveled portions of Hwy 33 in West Bend, including the area around the on and off ramps to U.S. Hwy 45. The city of West Bend has double the population of the City of Hartford.
- U.S. Hwy 45 (Hwy 145 north to Hwy 33) 32,450 vehicles/ day (1)
- I41 (Hwy 145 north to Hwy 33) 36,933 vehicles/ day (2)
- Hwy 33 (Oak Road west to Hwy 144) 15,417-18,700 vehicles/ day (1)
- Hwy 60 (I41 west to Independence Ave.) 22,400 vehicles/ day (1)
(1) Data compiled from SEWRPC (2) Data compiled from Wisconsin DOT
- Two intersections on Hwy 60 have a truck crash rate higher than the proportion of trucks traveling on Hwy 60. Truck traffic represents about 9-10 percent of the total traffic on Hwy 60, however, at the intersection of Hwy 164 and Hwy 60, the proportion of truck crashes is 11 percent, and at the intersection of Hwy 60 and Hwy 83, the proportion of truck crashes is 13 percent.
- Rerouting truck traffic around town provides a number of direct transportation benefits, including diverting unwanted traffic, increasing roadway safety, reducing travel delays and improving local access for people and goods.
- A 1998 study of 17 Wisconsin communities conducted by the State of Wisconsin on the economic impacts of reliever routes found that reliever routes moved much of the traffic that created congestion and safety problems, improving the overall shopping environment and providing the opportunity for retail trade to flourish.
- The communities along Hwy 60 — Hartford, Slinger and Jackson — experienced the highest growth rate and were the greatest contributors to an increase in equalized value in Washington County. Growing communities help reduce the tax burden and are critical to the overall prosperity of Washington County.
- Hartford is home to a number of the largest private sector employers in Washington County, including three of the top five1 — Quad Graphics, Broan-Nutone and Signicast — which are located in the Hartford Industrial Park. The businesses in the Hartford Industrial Park support the community with $100 million in wages for its employees, 45 percent of whom live in Washington County.
- The reliever route has a nearly identical travel time to Hwy 60, despite additional mileage. This is due to a more consistent speed limit, versus varying speed limits, and only three stops versus 11 stops on Hwy 60. An internal survey conducted by Broan showed that nearly 90 percent of the drivers said they would prefer a direct route to the freeway with fewer stops and a nearly consistent speed limit.
- A portion of the new roadway will be constructed on land west of the Hartford Municipal Airport, which is already impacted by a long-planned, and approved, extension and realignment of the airport’s runway from 3,000 feet to 3,400 feet. The airport’s master plan includes a further ultimate extension to 4,000 feet. This land will be impacted regardless of the reliever route, and the City of Hartford already is working to acquire land from property owners adjacent to the airport.
- A significant portion of this project will be updates to the existing Hwy K roadway. • No residences or businesses will be displaced
- There will be almost no impact on tillable acreage along the existing Hwy K roadway • Only 2.7 acres of wetlands will be affected in total
- There will be minimal impact to the village of St. Lawrence. • It is not, and never was intended to be, a four-lane highway.
- Failure to alleviate the traffic congestion and heavy truck volumes can be expected to affect livability and safety in the Hartford and Slinger areas, and hinder economic development and expansion for the county overall.