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WisDOT hoping to fast-track U.S. 14 resurfacing as highway rapidly deteriorates

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ROCK COUNTY (WKOW) -- A bumpy stretch of a Rock County highway could get smoothed out sooner than expected.

A complete resurfacing of U.S. 14 between Evansville and Janesville was scheduled to start in 2021, but WisDOT officials say they're working to move the project up to this summer because of how quickly the road is deteriorating.

"It was definitely the main driving force -- the pavement condition itself," said WisDOT Project Manager Alex Hagen.

Hagen says there are still some hurdles to go, but a complete resurfacing and other improvements could begin as early as this July.

Ally Steinke owns 33 Feeds, located directly between Evansville and Janesville on U.S. 14, and welcomes the roadwork.

"Our delivery truck definitely can feel the bumps as they come up and down 14," she said. "There's thousands of cars that drive this daily... and there's spots that get pretty tricky."

Steinke says she's heard different plans and ideas over the years about how to fix U.S. 14, and she just wants to make sure whatever is done is done right.

"I'm in favor of it as long as they do it the right way," she said. "If they're going to push it forward quickly and not do it right, then it's not worth pushing it forward."

Hagen says the DOT will make sure the work is quality.

"We definitely don't want to rush into anything," he said. "We're trying to do our best to move this one forward and try to maintain the integrity of the plan."

For those who drive on U.S. 14, it's about a smooth solution that will last.

"Especially when it's something that's going to take years to redo again," Steinke said. "Doing it the right way would be more important than doing it quickly."

WisDOT says it hopes to know by May if it will be able to start construction this year. If so, work will start around July and will include a complete resurfacing between County M and U.S. 51, intersection improvements and bridge repairs, and will wrap up around October.

Andrew Merica

Reporter/Producer, 27 News

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