$3.5 million street reconstruction project to heavily affect traffic at John Nolen Drive, Willy St.

$3.5 million street reconstruction project to heavily affect traffic at John Nolen Drive, Willy St.

A $3.5 million street reconstruction project set to start Monday, April 1, will heavily affect traffic, particularly at the intersection of John Nolen Drive and Willy Street, according to the city of Madison.

The project will consist of replacing the curb, pavement, sanitary sewer main and laterals, and storm sewer and installing of improved bike facilities, including a new signal.

The bike facility improvements include a new cycle track with a separate sidewalk for pedestrians and marked bike lanes.

After conducting a street safety survey of the intersection, city engineers have set this plan in motion to redesign the intersection. This project will affect East Wilson Street, South Franklin Street, South Blair Street, Williamson Street, South Blount Street and Capital City Bike Path.

Bikers who frequently travel through the intersection anticipate a major traffic delay.

“I can’t imagine once it goes down to one lane, how that’s going to affect the commute,” said biker Kristel Ren. “As Madison continues to grow, I don’t see an option other than to work on intersections like this and improve them.”

Ren said she constantly sees bikes colliding with each other or running into pedestrian traffic in the intersection. Jim Wolfe, an engineer with the city of Madison, said this is why this project needs to happen.

If you travel along #JohnNolen and #WillyStreet, you might want to find an alternate route. The @CityofMadison is starting a $3.5 million reconstruction project that will heavily impact traffic in that intersection.
New curbs, pavement, railroads, bike paths and signs to come. pic.twitter.com/BAXTyAowSe

— Jamie Perez (@JamiePerezTV) March 22, 2019

“Right now, it has some of the worst pavement in the city,” Wolfe said. “Over the past couple of years, we’ve done a safety improvement study for the whole intersection. So a lot of the improvements we are making here are guided by the study that was recently completed.”

Wolfe said that work along this intersection hasn’t been done since the mid-1980s.

The construction work will allow only one lane of traffic to be open in each direction on East Wilson Street and Williamson Street, which will delay traffic even more during rush hour.

Business owner Mike Wong, who owns Poke Poke, said he expects the construction will affect the amount of customers who are willing to fight the traffic to come and eat at his restaurant, but he is keeping a positive attitude by looking at the bigger picture.

“It’s definitely going to affect the business, but I think, if that can make the community better, we would be OK to sacrifice a little business,” Wong said.

On top of the road construction, MG& E Gas will be doing localized utility work starting Monday, March 25, and will continue working there throughout the duration of the construction project.

Wisconsin & Southern Railroad will also be replacing the railroad crossing at the Wilson/Blair/John Nolen intersection.

The city hopes to have the project complete by mid-August.

For more details about this project, click here.

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