10. March 2014 03:29
The snowy, cold winter gives us some time to look back at the 2013 construction season and the new traffic signal improvements along the I-94 North-South corridor. Three new interchanges were opened in late 2013. These interchanges included some of the latest in traffic signal technology and operational features.
The Rawson Avenue interchange provided TTI traffic signal phasing to minimize traffic backups internal to the interchange and to allow traffic to travel through both ramp intersections in one sequence. The WIS 158 interchange added new traffic signals (previously unsignalized) and provides a much needed east-west alternate route for those traveling between I-94 and the City of Kenosha.
The new interchange at 71st Street makes up the north half of a new split diamond interchange configuration being constructed in the WIS 50 area. These signals implemented the use of the flashing yellow arrow and both GPS and Infrared Emergency Vehicle Preemption equipment. 2014 marks the final year of construction in the WIS 50 area, when the south half of the interchange will be fully complete. Upon completion, a total of six new traffic signals will service the interchange area.
Construction will ramp back up as soon as the weather starts to warm up, so stay tuned and think spring!
7. March 2014 09:37
The advisory group discussing rule changes to the Clean Water Fund program met with WDNR for the second time last week in Madison. A summary of the key discussion points is included below. Any and all proposed changes noted below will be available for public comment at the conclusion of the draft rule-revision process. All rule revisions are ultimately reviewed and approved by the Natural Resources Board, the Legislature and the Governor.
A consideration is being made to move the December 31 Intent to Apply (ITA) deadline to October 31. The deadline would correspond more closely with the fall municipal budgeting cycle and also allow for the processing of ITAs, priority scoring and loan applications prior to the spring construction season. If approved, the same deadline would be implemented for the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP).
For sanitary districts where there may not be sufficient data points for the American Community Survey (ACS) to calculate an MHI, other criteria will need to be established. The group discussed how there is frustration with the ACS due to their large margin of error often seen in their data. After a discussion of various alternatives, the advisory team members suggested that applicants be given the option to use one of the following methods: 1) the applicant prepares a map identifying the project boundaries for use by the U.S. Census Bureau in calculating MHI; 2) the applicant uses the published MHI for the township; or 3) if the applicant is located in multiple local government entities, a weighted average MHI (based on population) is calculated.
There has been ongoing discussion regarding the potential eligibility of sanitary sewer lining under the CWF program.
Once again, all of the items noted above are proposed changes as of this writing. The group is scheduled to meet again in mid-March to discuss the priority scoring system. Stay tuned for another update! If you have any questions, please contact Robin Schmidt, Chief, Environmental Loans Section, at 608-266-3915 or email@example.com.
Photo at right: Chuck Pape, civil engineer with R.A. Smith National, is a voluntary member of the advisory group. He has 30+ years of prior experience with WDNR, serving primarily as their first point of contact for all Clean Water Fund projects in southeastern Wisconsin. Chuck’s experience with the existing funding system at WDNR provides a unique perspective on priority scoring and loan eligibility.