April 8, 2009
Roundabout one of three options for Seventh Street
Here's a zoomed out map of the Seventh Street project set to be built in 2011. It will start at Washington Avenue and Ninth Street and continue to Seventh and Main streets.
State officials laid out three options Wednesday for rebuilding Seventh Street from Main to Ninth streets. (See them here.)
The key part of the project is the tangle of an intersection between Sixth and Seventh streets in front of City Hall. Designers laid out three options for the intersection, including a roundabout, at an Open House held in Memorial Hall.
But state officials were cautious not to play up the roundabout, noting design work on the Seventh Street project is only 30 percent complete and any final design will factor in feedback from citizens.
The caution comes from fights across the state over the use of roundabouts, which often draw significant opposition from people who prefer more traditional layouts. The city does not have to build a roundabout between Sixth and Seventh streets if they don't want to, officials said.
Two of the three options for the City Hall intersection included signalized intersections with one or two lanes of traffic. The big difference between those options was the two-lane proposal would reduce parking in the area.
State plans also factor in space for bikes. Designers don't call the space "bike lanes" anymore, but they will leave about five feet of room along the street that can be used for bikes.
The state is involved with the Seventh Street project because it's technical Highway 20. This is a good thing for the city because federal money will cover 80 percent of the project's cost. The city will pick up the rest.
State and city officials will make some decisions on the project in coming months, and WisDOT will prepare it for bid in December 2010. Work is scheduled to begin in Spring 2011.
The project is estimated to cost $5 million.