Alberti Speaks Out Against Highway V Improvements

by Free Speech on April 15, 2009

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Lodi, WI-4/15/09

The planned “improvements” for CTH V in the unincorporated area of Columbia County known as Okee, should be scrapped.  The road in question is a two lane road through a mostly rural area that winds around a bay of Lake Wisconsin.  The plan will change the rural character that many of us love.   If we wanted to live with curb, gutters, and sidewalks we’d move to Lodi or Madison.

This project is estimated to cost $6,000,000+ even though there are only a few hours a week (Friday night fish fries at the two local restaurants) when there is much traffic congestion in Okee.  At a public information meeting in February the consultants mentioned that generally they check the accident statistics for 5 years to help them determine whether an intersection or stretch of road should be upgraded.  They told us that they had to go back 15 years, as there had been so few incidents on this stretch of road.

The “upgrades” include curb and gutter even though there seems to be few complaints about excessive water runoff into the lake.  This area is mostly sand country and most rain water is readily absorbed into the sand before it reaches the lake. How will they deal with all the water that will collect in the streets and gutters before it gets to the lake?

CTH V may be closed where it crosses the railroad tracks to STH 113.  You will have to go south (toward Lodi) on Shamrock Road to STH 113, turn right onto STH 113, go up over the hill behind the Okee Store and turn left onto CTH V.  When questioned about the safety of sitting on STH 113 waiting to turn left onto CTH
V (Picture that the ferry just unloaded 15 cars) they said they would put in a turn lane.  There are NO plans to cut down the hill behind the Okee Store to improve vision in STH 113.  The possibilities of being rear-ended while waiting to turn onto CTH V seem greater than keeping the existing road and having to drive across STH 113.

It is also questionable whether it will be safer to cross the street in Okee if the road is wider and straighter as speeds tend to increase on wide open roads.

There are plenty of roads in Columbia County that need this money more than we need curb, gutter and sidewalks.  Check out Hwy 188 to Sauk or the dangerous intersection at Hwy V and J.

I grew up loving this rural community on the shore of Lake Wisconsin.  My family has been here since the 1930s.  Even though I lived in Madison for 30 years when I was raising my family this was always “home”.  During those years we came to visit my parents or to our cottage nearly every weekend year around, spent all summer, all school holidays and even many week nights here.  Madison was where we worked and went to school, but this was “home”.

For many years after I replaced my cottage with a permanent home and moved permanently to Okee, I commuted to Madison every day for work.  As I drove home, I could feel the tensions and stress of the day fall away as I got onto progressively less traveled, more rural roads.  By the time I got home to my “just barely” two lane road I was relaxed and ready to enjoy my family and the evening.

If the bridge is really so deteriorated that it is dangerous, repair or replace it, but leave Okee alone.

Martha Dodge Alberti

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 lyl April 15, 2009 at 9:56 PM

We agree with Martha completely. Eventhough we do not live in Okee, the husband uses the Ferry during his daily commute. Who should we contact to register our opinion? We have plenty of projects in Dekorra that need to be done before Okee!

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