Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Highway workers get Dane County Board backing

March 22, 2017
County Board Chair Sharon Corrigan, 608.333.2285
County Board

Board to also consider Schumacher Park, Fish Lake improvements

With several major projects scheduled, including reconstruction of University Avenue between Allen Boulevard and the Beltline, the Dane County Board is urging drivers to take extra caution when traveling through construction zones.


The Board will vote to designate the week April 3 through April 7 as “Work Zone Safety Awareness Week” in Dane County during its regular meeting Thursday.


“All we’re asking is that drivers slow down and give us a chance to do our work so at the end of the day our people can go home to be with their families like everybody else,” said Jerry Mandli, Commissioner/Director of the Dane County Department of Public Works, Highway & Transportation.


In addition to proclaiming “Work Zone Awareness Week” the County Board on Thursday will consider $16.5 million in borrowing for some 20 separate highway construction projects. Those projects include:


  • County MN (University Avenue) from Allen Boulevard to Cayuga Street.


  • County M between Valley View and Cross County roads.


  • County T & TT from County N to Oak Park road.


  • County Y from Amenda Road to State Highway 78.


  • County B east to Koshkonong Road.


Dane County is responsible for maintaining some 2,500 miles of roadways, including county and state highways. That is the second most number of miles for any government entity in Wisconsin behind Milwaukee County.


Dane County’s Work Zone Awareness Week is part of a national effort launched in 1999 by the Federal Highway Administration in conjunction with the American Association of State and Highway officials.


Residents are also being asked to wear orange on April 4 and 5 to draw attention to the issue.


Despite the best efforts at safety, highway workers continue to be killed in work zones throughout Wisconsin. Four workers were killed in Calumet, Lincoln, Shawano and Winnebago counties in 2015.


Dane County suffered a loss when a worker was killed here in 2009 and Mandli said there are many other incidents that result in serious injuries, including a worker who was working in the median last year near Sun Prairie when he was struck by a vehicle.


Mandli urged drivers to take extra caution when they see orange barrels or construction trucks and avoid using mobile devices while behind the wheel. The growing number of distracted drivers is a serious issue both in Wisconsin and nationwide, he said.


“It’s scary enough to have vehicles going past you at 80 miles an hour without having people on their phones,” he said.


Also Thursday, the County Board will consider major improvements at two county parks:


  • Turning an existing barn at Schumacher Park near Waunakee into a Center for Rural History. The Center will provide public restrooms and meeting space to support indoor educational programs. An existing farm house at the park would be turned into a working museum. The Friends of Schumacher Farm, Inc. will be responsible for construction costs above the $400,000 already included in the county budget.


  • Developing a boat launch facility on Fish Lake at Lussier County Park near Roxbury. The county has secured a $225,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to construct a paved entry with parking and a floating pier to temporarily moor 13 boats while launching and loading.


The Dane County Board meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Room 201 of the City County Building at 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Madison.