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UPDATE: Public Meeting Set To Discuss Highway 38 Project

Part of this project would cut right through farmland and that has village board members pretty nervous.

UPDATE: A public meeting will be held to discuss Highway 38 at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 15 at East Side Community Center, 6156 Douglas Ave.

The Village Board will send a letter asking the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to delay any further action on the STH 38 from 6 Mile Road to Oakwood Road.

While they support part of the project, there's a southern section of the project that they want to have more discussions with the DOT on. The current estimated project cost is $125 million for both sections.

The state plans to go out for bid for the design of this 9-mile reconstruction and expansion project, which is slated to be constructed in 2016 for the northern section and 2021 for the southern section.

Tom Lebak, the Village Administrator, said he's had discussions with DOT officials.

"The entire project was approved (at the state level)," Lebak said. "I was told that it could put the entire project at risk if the south section isn’t agreed on."

Mike Hayek, the village engineer, said if the state is going to put the project up for bid, the cost would be about $11 million.

"If the money gets spent, the Governor won't turn back," Hayek said.

Lee Wishau, a Village Board member, said he was at a County meeting where he voiced concerns about where the road would be placed because it would mean cutting through farmland.

Ron Clone July 20, 2011 at 11:43 AM
This needs to be stopped, not merely delayed. Is anybody looking at the overall plans? Highway 38 was just upgraded and there is serious talk of extending 794 into Racine county. We need mass transit, not more ways to move in our personal transportation devices! I know Scooter and the roadbuilders' association are sleeping together, but he is on his way out soon, I hope!
Dave Larsen July 20, 2011 at 12:57 PM
What is the States' rationale' for rerouting Hwy 38? Why not simple expand/improve the existing route? Purchasing additional farmland, and having to lay down all new roadbed cannot be cheaper than relocating a few businesses in Husher. Dave Larsen Caledonia
Greta Mueller July 20, 2011 at 02:36 PM
Dave - it's a dangerous road even with the improvements they've made - too many hills and curves and blind spots - in fact, some of the improvements they've made created more blind spots. The new road would straighten out the dangerous section as well as add an easier route to the freeway for northside residents and create the potential for an easier connection to Caledonia's Industrial Park. I find the argument that this cuts through farmland as laughable. Hmmm, a Wal-Mart at 31 and 4 Mile will eat up farmland; the almost negligible taxbase developments going in at the freeway will eat up farmland - guess it depends on WHOSE farmland is affected and what their connection is to the powers that be.
Kathy Aschebrock July 20, 2011 at 04:26 PM
Too many curves ,hills and blind spots. Now that is a laughable excuse to spend how many millions of dollars on a road that was just re-paved. With a 55 mile an hour speed limit there is no reason to give some people the opportunity to fly down the road any faster, on a straight away.Yes and by all means lets take a little farm land here and a little farm land there. Can't wait to see the reaction when they have to take a little subdivision here and a little there. Oh then the shoe would be on the other foot. Oh no thats right the only place that still has open space is west of hwy31. Gee wasn't it just a few months ago that people were screaming about needing more business in Caledonia,now they are OK with taking what Husher has away? Now thats Laughable.
Jeff Warg July 20, 2011 at 06:53 PM
"guess it depends on WHOSE farmland is affected and what their connection is to the powers that be." Might be interesting to know who it is. The story on 38 seems to be changing almost monthly. Last month Rep Vos sent a letter out stating the project would be pushed back until 2018-2021. This story mentions that the project could be done in segements-something that the Hwy 38 project engineer mentioned could be done more that a year ago in an email to me. This $125M cost of 38 would be enough to bring 794 down to 6 mile instead. It is time for the DOT and local officials to get the right game plan, the sooner the better.
Greta Mueller July 20, 2011 at 08:00 PM
Really, Kathy, accidents and deaths on a highway are not an excuse to find a better option? Wow! Guess you value your greenspace more than human life?
Jeff Warg July 20, 2011 at 08:52 PM
Hwy 38 did have double the state average accident rate.On the state's list of projects to be funded, Hwy 38 scored the highest for need 19/20 on the state's rating system. By Husher on Hwy 38, in 2008, the road had nearly as much traffic on it as four lane Hwy 20 does just east of I-94. Something must be done-794 looks like a better alternative and what are the chances of funding both 38 and 794?
Ron Clone July 20, 2011 at 09:00 PM
The good thing about the 794 option is that it will use, in part, right of way that parallels the existing train tracks. I live in Oak Creek and the tracks are just over the hill about a quarter mile from my back door. I have NO problem. I would rather use land like that than eat up more farmland. It could be a straight shot with somewhat limited access directly to downtown Milwaukee and would take a lot of pressure off 94. I've read that the way-back, original plans for 794 had it going all the way to Illinois. Put passenger trains alongside it and you would have something!
Kathy Aschebrock July 21, 2011 at 01:50 AM
First of all Please don't assume to know what I place more value on! It's not the road that kills people, it's the people driving with total disregard for anyone else on the road thats killing people.It's about the way money is wasted on projects to only turn around and spend more on the same road. The DOT didn't know about the road, (future project, accidents etc.) before they spent the money to repave it? How much land should be given up, then turn around and say ooops we still didn't get it right, lets move it again ? By all means lets give them more lanes, faster speeds so they can rush to what ever is more important. Lets pass another law,( that makes it illegal to text and drive, but it's OK to read a text and drive?) Of course the hell with people that stand to loose their land or business just so we all can get home a little faster...the remote will still be in the same place they left it. If its that your running late for work, leave a little earlier.Lower the speed, put up some four way stops, It don't cost MILLIONS.
Karen Itzenhuiser July 21, 2011 at 04:10 AM
Enough is enough! What a ridiculus project to even consider. If you need a straighter shot to get to town, use HWY 31. What's wrong with people? It's not just farmland that they would be using...there are houses that they would need to destroy too. I know people that have been contacted already and told that they would get market value for their house and land. Market value? You've got to be kidding! If money must be spent then use it to fix HWY 32. Now that's a road that needs work. Clean up what really needs improvement and quit wasting our money.
Jeff Warg July 23, 2011 at 12:18 AM
"If money must be spent then use it to fix HWY 32. Now that's a road that needs work." I agree. I talked with a very high level DOT rep about this very subject yesterday. He mentioned that there is alot of traffic on 32 and that local officials should talk to the DOT about it. The county has overlooked this road. Traffic count is 16,900 just north of the power plant in Oak Creek. Between Racine-Kenosha, where HWY 32 is 4 lanes, the traffic is only 6,000-9,000 cars. The DOT had no answer for this one. Tell your local reps to start pressuring the state, we are getting their attention!! As far as 38 goes, I was told its not helpful that a resolution was passed by Caledonia supporting the work on 38 to now have the village try to delay it. I think people have a right to know who is the infuential land owner that is throwing a monkey wrench into this!
Jeff Warg July 23, 2011 at 12:31 AM
Consider this surprising statistic. Nearly 1 out of 3 people (31%) of Racine County's TOTAL population live in the northern part of the county-zip codes 53108, 53126, 53402 and 53404. There is not one four lane road out to the Interstate and two lane 32 and 38 heading towards Milwaukee. Almost no shopping. No wonder our county is struggling!! This whole situation would make for an interesting story in a major publication!
Kathy Aschebrock July 23, 2011 at 04:43 AM
"People have a right to know"..Why? What are they going to do? Make them the subject of endless posts on Patch, do back round checks, insult them,shun them? Knowing who the landowner is will serve what purpose, other then the ones I just mentioned .I really don't understand how knowing who it is, will change the situation.
rudi wendt July 28, 2011 at 12:19 PM
I have been reading all these comments,and find this totally ridiculus,as you say,Karen.I would use stronger langauge, but that would be inappropriate.And Ron,as far as people sleeping together,I have been wondering about this between WE energies,DOT,and the village board to allow WE to put a STUPID hill and business driveway across our 45 plus year HOME,considering WE has so much land.Our HOME has been living threw HELL ever since WE invaded.By the way if anybody would like the address,8530 Douglas Ave.Jeff Warg you are absolutly right about the traffic count being much more.You should add more traffic from North of 7Mile road.Considering all the traffic from WE energies,ash trucks, dump trucks,some J-Braking as going PAST our house,thanks STEVE,PROJECT MANAGER.Then there are water trucks,LOUD vaccum trucks,long semi trucks hauling large eqiupment,or parts.Oh yes,lets not forget some of the extremely loud exhaust from some Harleys,Crotch Rockets,and autos, personal trucks.Exspecially when they gun the engine going past our HOME,HARRASSMENT!!!!Again THANKS STEVE PER-----GO,WE energies PROJECT MANAGER!!!!!I RUDI WENDT WILL NOT LET THIS GO I WILL BE SEEKING COMPENSATION FOR 3 TO 4 YEARS HARRASSMENT.THANKS WE,FOR BEING OUR HOME WREAKERS.
Mike Itzenhuiser August 03, 2011 at 04:43 PM
I agree with Karen Itzenhuiser. What a ridiculous project to even consider! If you need a straighter shot to get to town, use HWY 31. What's wrong with people? It's not just farmland that they would be using...there are houses that they would need to destroy too. I know people that have been contacted already and told that they would get market value for their house and land. Market value? You've got to be kidding! If money must be spent, then use it to fix HWY 32. Now that's a road that needs work. Clean up what really needs improvement and quit wasting our money!
Brian Dey August 03, 2011 at 09:21 PM
Kathy- You have repeatedly in your posts argued against ANY kind of development so we all know where loyalties are (Not in my backyard). So with all due respect, Hwy 38 reroute will do more to benefit saving greenspace than you think. It will provide a more business friendly route to the industrial park (which isn't even a third built out and follows the land use plan for commercial development). The landowners will be compensated (or if they put up a huge hissy fit, the state will declare eminate domain). The existing 38 had to be done either way to serve the four subdivisions and homeowners already there. Not a waste at all and was taken into consideration during the planning of the new 38. I've seen this happen before in Marinette and Oconto County with the expansion of Hwy 141.
Kathy Aschebrock August 04, 2011 at 12:59 AM
Brian Dey, First of all the new plans for Hwy 38 would move it farther away from my home sooo your assumption of NOT in my backyard ,Just isn't working here for ya. It's a about wasteful spending, I have a Question for you, Is your Property ever truly Yours? We should all just pay our taxes and if someone want to take our property we should JUST bend over and GRAB our Ankles? Should we do it with a SMILE? Whats the fair Market today vs. a few years ago, Bet anyone of us wouldn't be happy with their Fair Market offer.
rudi wendt August 05, 2011 at 01:09 PM
Kathy,I really loved your comment.I can not help comparing everthing I am reading here to how we have gotten screwed by the LYING WE ENERGIES.By way we are not smiling while grabbing our ankles.
Peter Mcfarland September 09, 2011 at 06:57 AM
i live on hwy 38 near 4 mile.I bought my property in 2004 because I liked the area.It wasn't the house.I lost land 2 yrs ago and now it may happen again.I had probably the smallest yard to start with ,just under 3/4 acre now .59 acre.If it happenings again maybe just foreclose like everyone else.

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