A new stop light could be installed in the future at the intersection of Center Street and Interchange North—which later turns into Williams Street and then Broad Street.
Lake Geneva and Walworth County officials are discussing sharing the cost of an engineering study to determine if a traffic signal is needed at the intersection.
The intersection has gotten busier as the Stone Ridge subdivision up the Center Street hill has been developed. Last year, there was a controversy over speed bumps that were installed on the Center Street hill because the Town of Geneva was concerned about speeders.
The study is expected to cost between $6,000 and $7,000, with the city and the county paying between $3,000 and $3,500 each. The intersection is owned by the county but located in Lake Geneva.
Members of the Lake Geneva City Council’s Public Works Committee unanimously approved, March 22, to pay for half of the cost of the study.
Whether to pay for the study and its funding options still has to be approved by the council’s finance, licensing & regulation committee and the full city council.
People are also reading…
Lake Geneva Public Works Director Tom Earle said he has met with Walworth County Public Works Director Richard Hough, and he has indicated that the county would be willing to pay for half of the cost for the study.
“He agreed that if we agree to pay for half of a warrant, which would be somewhere between $6,000 and $7,000, the county would pay for the other half,” Earle said. “If we’re interested in doing a warrant study for that intersection, we could, right now, get it half paid for by the county.”
Hough said the county’s public works department has the funding available in its budget to pay for the study.
“I didn’t need to go to a committee or anything to get that accomplished. I’ve already lined up funding to pay for the study,” Hough said. “When it comes time for a final billing, what I will do is I will split the bill and give half of it to the City of Lake Geneva.”
Hough said it could take between three months to six months for the study to be completed.
“These things don’t happen overnight,” Hough said. “It will be several months before we get the study, but it will be a pretty comprehensive study.”
Hough said if the study determines that a traffic signal is warranted at that intersection, then he will propose to transfer ownership of that intersection and that area of Highway H to the City of Lake Geneva.
“That whole area of the road is really becoming an urban road that probably requires smaller equipment than what the county is using,” Hough said. “So we can talk transfer later, but I think that’s something I would be interesting in pursuing.”
As part of the motion to pay for half of the cost of the study, the public works committee members also approved to send a letter to county officials requesting that road improvements be made to County Highway H, from George Street to the roundabouts, within the next several years.
Earle said county officials told him the earliest they can work on that section of the highway is in 11 years.
Alderwoman Cindy Flower said the pavement in that area of the highway is in poor condition and should be repaired before that time.
“The condition of the pavement is horrific, and 11 years should not be acceptable to us as a city,” Flower said.
Hough said, as part of the traffic signal study, he will request that it be determined whether that area of the highway needs to be included in the country’s 10-year bridge and highway improvement plan.