Road work planned for Highway 33 between Baraboo and Reedsburg
Highway 33 is set to be resurfaced between Reedsburg and Baraboo in 2021, and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation may redesign a dangerous intersection the following year.
Six miles of the highway will be resurfaced from Highway 23 east of Reedsburg to Highway 12 west of Baraboo. No realignment or expansion is planned, DOT spokesman Michael Bie said, but the intersection of 23 and 33 near Reedsburg may be redesigned under a federal program.
The intersection has seen 11 crashes, including two fatal wrecks, in five years. Last fall, it was approved for analysis through the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program, which pays for standalone safety projects at locations with high crash rates. Construction is slated for 2022.
“The scope of that project will be determined, but it will be limited to intersection improvements,” Bie said.
During Thursday’s meeting of the Sauk County Traffic Safety Commission, Kobussen Buses safety manager Kristi Volker said the intersection is a particularly troublesome spot on a stretch of road that frequently sees drivers illegally pass stopped school buses. “It’s a dangerous intersection,” she said while offering law enforcement a collection of video clips from buses’ exterior cameras. “It’s an accident waiting to happen.”
The commission hopes to provide input on the upcoming road work, as unsafe passing around school buses on 33 between Baraboo and Reedsburg has become an issue. The highway’s design, the route’s topography and the presence of farm vehicles make passing difficult, prompting some drivers to take risks. This piece of roadway has the county’s highest crash rate.
“Thirty-three has just got a lot of issues,” said Lt. James Hodges of the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office.
Before getting to the intersection, the DOT will address the road’s aged and deteriorated surface, which is cracked and rutted. An overlay 6.5 inches deep was laid in 2001.
Twenty years later, the pavement will be repaired via mill and overlay. Rumble strips will be installed. Traffic detours are yet to be determined as the project currently is in the design phase.