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The push is on to make Highway GV four lanes

By Jan Basina

Another road project. Just what you wanted to read about in the midst of the construction frenzy during a hot summer in Wisconsin.

But this is a construction bidding blog, so here’s something to think about for 2011.

There’s a proposal out there to reconstruct a portion of Brown County Highway GV into a four-lane divided highway. The project would extend from Brown County G north for 1.76 miles to the intersection of Bower Creek Road, south of Wisconsin 172, with portions going through the village of Bellevue and the town of Ledgeview.

The Brown County Board Planning, Development and Transportation Committee has already recommended that the project move forward, but the Board still needs to approve the plan.

And just recently, according to a story in the Green Bay Press Gazette, the group — with officials from Bellevue, Ledgeview and Brown County — was informed by the office of U.S. Rep. Steve Kagan, D-Appleton, that their request for federal funding for the estimated $7 million project was rejected. But the group is not giving up their quest for federal funding just yet.

Officials were told their bid will be included as part of the $100 million worth of bids that were considered from an original pool of more than $300 million in federal money received by Kagen’s office. The coalition plans to resubmit a revamped bid before the Highway GV construction is set to begin in 2011.

The revised bid will include other sections of the southern connector system between U.S. 41 and Interstate 43 and includes a new bridge south of De Pere.

The project was put on hold once already. That was in February 2009 because planning wasn’t completed on a southern connector system, the detour route for the Wisconsin 172 construction project was unclear, Federal Emergency Management Agency flood mapping was incomplete, and development in the area had tapered off.

But according to a Brown County official, those factors no longer exist: The southern connector system including a the new bridge south of De Pere connect to Highway GV; the Wisconsin 172 project is nearing completion; the FEMA mapping project is finished; and development in the area is picking up.

While federal funding for the project is still not certain, Brown County has agreed to pay for half the project, while Bellevue and Ledgeview will split the other $3.5 million in construction costs.

There are several hurdles yet to clear before construction could begin, but keep your fingers crossed. And keep an eye on JobTrac for bidding information.

Jan Basina is a data reporter at The Daily Reporter. She can be reached at (414) 225-1817.

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