Business 53 repairs in Lake Hallie may include roundabouts - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Business 53 repairs in Lake Hallie may include roundabouts

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Lake Hallie (WQOW) - Intersections in Lake Hallie are set for a new surface, and possibly a new route for traffic to travel. The village is considering what to do with three intersections on business 53. One option is to go with roundabouts instead of traffic lights. But not everyone is on board with the idea.

"The road has deteriorated to where it needs to be completely rebuilt," said John Niehart, Lake Hallie Village Board President.

The patches and potholes are problems, but the answer to them could come in a couple of ways. Along Business 53 in Lake Hallie, one choice is to add roundabouts like this one in Chippewa Falls.

"It provides traffic to move, instead of stopping and going and stopping and going and then we waste fuel, we have traffic lights to maintain, and all those things. Where a roundabout although you slow down, you keep moving," explained Neihart.

The village is considering putting a large roundabout at the intersection of Business 53 and 27th Avenue, with another one directly to the east. But in recent meetings, area business owners were opposed to the idea.

"They were concerned that people weren't stopping and being able to see the businesses and they'd be more concerned about negotiating the roundabout and traveling through. I'm on the end of a dead end road, so I'm a little concerned about changes in that respect," said Terry Moulton, Mouldy's Archery & Tackle Owner.

"People in our area are not used to them, so they will avoid them. And that's what our customers are talking about,” said Rose Hunt, Heckel's Family Restaurant Owner.

The village has also explored a slight realignment in the intersections, moving them towards the west. Either way, the hope is to have work done during the summer of 2016. That has businesses bracing.

"No one will travel through that intersection during that construction. So the impact for us as a business would be devastating," Hunt said.

"The contractors will try to make every effort to try and keep intersections open. Obviously when you do a rebuild, there's going to be inconvenience," Neihart said.

With 19,000 cars traveling Business 53 each day, a permanent solution is needed.

Lake Hallie was provided $4 million from the state to pay for the repairs in exchange for taking over jurisdiction of the road. The estimated cost of the repair will be $8 million. Lake Hallie's share will be covered by TIF districts with no impact to the average taxpayer.


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