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County Executive Falk reopens County M stretch, details final round of three-phase reconstruction safety project

For more information contact:

Joanne Haas, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 6/29/2006

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, flanked by local officials and county board supervisors, today thanked local residents and commuters for their daily patience as the second phase of a three-part project to improve traffic conditions on the heavily traveled County M was completed.

“I can appreciate the inconvenience of planning your day’s travels and having to build in extra driving time because of the detours. And I thank everyone for their understanding and cooperation,” Falk said. “But with today’s official reopening of this stretch, I think drivers will be glad to see the improvements that will make this route much safer.”

Since March, County Highway M travelers were detoured off the 3.6-mile stretch of County M between Signature Drive near Middleton to County Highways Q and K. Access to Governor Nelson State Park was maintained, but Falk also thanked the state Department of Natural Resources for its cooperation during construction.

Improvements were constructed at the intersections, including turn lanes, medians and a wider bicycle lane. Permanent traffic lights were installed at the intersections of County K and Woodland Drive.

The project also involved the replacement of the bridge over Spring Creek. A bike tunnel was added just south of the Oncken Road intersection 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.

“County M is in a part of Dane County that is crucial to our east-west travelers and that is why these improvements were so important,” Falk said. “And we have one more phase to do.”

The first phase of this three-part $7 million project was completed in 2004 and expanded the highway to four lanes between State Highway 113 and Willow Drive. The final phase from, Signature Drive to County Q, will be completed in 2007 and will look similar to this year’s project. Construction on this third phase is expected to begin in the summer of 2007.

The federal government has funded 80 percent of the project’s costs, with 20 percent coming from the state and $750,000 from the county, and funding from the Town of Westport. The Town of Westport provided $20,000 for the second phase of the project completed this week, and $200,000 for the first phase completed in 2004.

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