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County Board rejects reliever route

By RALPH CHAPOCO 262-306-5095

Cheers and a sense of relief could be seen in the faces of the opponents of the Hartford reliever route after they realized progress for a proposed road in Washington County had stalled before their very eyes.

Members of the County Board of Supervisors, by a vote of 13-11, decided against including the proposed reliever route in the 2050 regional transportation plan. Had the measure passed, the proposed path would have replaced another route directed toward the city of Hartford via Arthur Road.

“I don’t know what to call that,” said attendee Elaine Gehring when asked about her emotions when the results were tallied. “Surprise, relief, a sense that the people have been heard, I guess. I really don’t know what to call that. The taxpayers’ interests had been responded to.”

The discussion ended abruptlywhen Supervisor Kristine Deiss made a motion to table the issue because multiple questions were asked and other issues were introduced, but Supervisor Mark McCune disagreed.

“I personally thought we could have continued discussion today,” McCune said. “Is someone in a hurry to leave? Why not ask all the questions now? Are you in a hurry? Is someone in a hurry? Weare here once a month for a supervisory board. There has been great discussion. Why not ask every question? All these routes are here. Everybody has got a little iPad. They are all here. All theyokes are under us. Why not continue to ask the questions today?”

The motion failed, and about a minute later McCune made a motion to end the discussion and vote on the measure.

The proposed route was contentious since it was introduced in the mid-2000s, and some believe even prior to that. The latest motivation began early in 2016 when Tom Hostad, executive director of the Hartford Area Development Corp., drafted a letter on behalf of some businesses in the Hartford industrial district asking for support to develop a road to redirect truck traffic from Highway 60 to another area.

County officials gave their support and since then representatives from the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission reviewed a report written by researchers from a firm commissioned to perform the study.

They hosted information sessions, solicited feedback from the community and generated several potential routes for officials to choose from. The one chosen, going from east to west, begins at Interstate 41 and then onto Highway K and then Turtle Road before eventually heading south and intersecting with Highway U.



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