'Known to be a dangerous intersection': DOT hopeful new Ozaukee County roundabout will help reduce incidents, save lives
SAUKVILLE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- According to the Ozaukee Sheriff's Office, the intersection outside of Saukville where County Highway I meets WIS 33 has been the location of over a dozen vehicle crashes since 2018, with three resulting in fatalities.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, those numbers are too high considering 11,000 drivers use the intersection daily.
"For the number of vehicles that did and do use this roadway on a daily basis, those numbers did catch our attention," said Michael Pyritz, regional communications manager with the DOT's southeast region. "When we reached out to the local stakeholders, there was a lot of support to take action at this location to improve safety."
The action being taken is the construction of a new roundabout that will cost just north of $2-million.
"We've seen great safety improvements with that all across the state of Wisconsin where we've put in roundabouts and different intersections," Pyritz said. "It really does help reduce the number of side-impact collisions that people do see. The ones that do happen are sort of side scrapes."
Emma Cable works as a teacher in Ozaukee County and drives through the intersection daily. She says she's happy to finally see action being taken to see the intersection improved.
"It's just known to be a dangerous intersection," said Cable. "It forces drivers to slow down and yield a little bit and I think it will make it much safer."
Pyritz echoed the positive impact the roundabout will have on driver safety.
"We had a very specific goal in mind which was improving the safety at this location," Pyritz said. "That (roundabout) is really the best tool we have to help that situation."
The project is expected to be completed by the fall. Until then, a detour is available for drivers:
-From the west: County Y to County NN to WIS 60
-From the east: County O to WIS 60 to County NN to County Y
-From the south: WIS 60 to County O
-From the north: County O to WIS 60
Pyritz says all businesses and locations located near the intersection are open for business and accessible.
"The golf courses, the bars and restaurants and such, everything is still open and accessible," Pyritz explained. "You just have to plan ahead a little bit."