FOX47 NEWS - Dane Co. Residents Debate North Mendota Corridor

Jeff Angileri
Jul 14, 2008, 10:47 PM

In a standing-room-only meeting in downtown Middleton, urban planners unveiled the latest proposals for a future corridor north of Lake Mendota.

Planners are looking at several different scenarios, but all the options would run along the same general area. The corridor would meet Highway 12 near Highway K and head northeast toward the interstate.

Organizers say these routes affect the least number of people and businesses.

Generally, roadways are designed in such a way where you try and minimize the number of re-locations and avoid them all together, says Tom Lynch, of Strand Associates.

At most, 7 homes would be affected, but more than 100 acres of agricultural land would have to be plowed under.

Keep that in your head. Where's the food going to keep coming from if you cover everything with asphalt and concrete? asked Will Hensen, Town of Springfield. Look where our oil's coming from...paying $120 a barrel. Do you want to pay $10 for a gallon of milk?

Some expressed concern the new parkway would destroy natural areas, and others felt the project did not serve the transportation needs of the county.

The more highways you add on the periphery--the more urban sprawl you're creating, which makes it more difficult to get these people into the central city, said Arnold Harris, of Mount Horeb.

Supporters feel the project is long overdue, will reduce congestion, and help economically--citing the beltline as an example.

I'm old enough to remember when you had to go on Broadway Avenue through Monona out to the interstate, and when they built the south beltline you see Broadway has come back, with a lot of commercial development there, said Bill Richardson of Middleton.

Planners say they will greatly weigh all the opinions before making a proposal to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. This roadway proposal is still in the very early development stages. The DOT has not officially signed on, and funding sources have been mentioned.

Also, the project has still not been assigned a name or number--that may depend on the final design.

Dane County planning website:


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