Highway 12 Bypass
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is considering various improvements to the US 12 highway system in the Fort Atkinson area from the US 12 Bypass of Whitewater to the North Fort Atkinson US 12/WIS26 interchange.
A draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was released in November 2005, and can be downloaded from the DOT's US 12 Corridor Study website. Public comment on the EIS ended December 14, 2005, and WisDOT is currently reviewing the comments. A final EIS is expected after public comment and testimony is weighed. The exact route of the bypass has not yet been determined. Several alternatives under consideration would cut through large sections of the Town of Koshkonong, destroying farmland, wetlands, and woods. It would also cause the loss of land and buildings, potentially including the historic Town Hall. The Town has passed a resolution opposing Alternatives 7 and 7a, which are the most expensive and damaging of the alternatives. In addition, a group of concerned citizens has formed the Friends of Koshkonong US Hwy 12 Committee. Below are brief overviews of Alternatives 7 and 7a.
Alternative 7, also known as the South Bypass, follows the current Hwy 12 path from Whitewater until near Star School Road, where it turns west to connect with the existing Hwy 26/Bus 26 interchange. This route is expected to cost $50 million, and will affect 32 residential homes, 20 farms, and one business. It will destroy 12 acres of wetlands, 19 acres of woods, and remove 257 acres of agricultural land from production. The route passes through endangered species habitat, the headwaters of Allen Creek, and an archeological site. (Source: Draft EIS) Click the image below for a high resolution version (951 KB).
Alternative 7a is a modification of Alternative 7 that is meant to be less destructive to wetlands. It deviates from the current Hwy 12 path near Hoge Road and travels westward to connect with Hwy 26 at the same point as Alternative 7. This route is expected to cost $45 million, and will affect 25 residential homes, 20 farms, and one business. It will destroy 1 acre of wetlands, 21 acres of woods, and remove 247 acres of agricultural land from production. The route passes through endangered species habitat and three archeological sites. (Source: Draft EIS) Click the image below for a high resolution version (1.0 MB). The image below is a close-up look at the proposed interchange where Hwy 12 meets Hwy 26. Click the image for a high resolution version. (127 KB)