Email sent to Roger Lane Dane County Zoning from Scot Hinkle Wis DOT SW Region Access management in follow up to prior phone conversations with Dane county zoning administrators regarding access for large volume truck access for CUP #2260 to the restricted area of Hwy 73, the alternate route for I 39/90 interstate traffic during construction. This email was sent to Roger Lane more than a day PRIOR to the ZLR meeting on May 13, 2014 but did not disclose this information when asked directly.
From: Hinkle, Scot - DOT
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2014 2:39 PM
Cc: Oestreich, Dale - DOT; Lybek, Rita - DOT
Subject: Access to STH 73
I see by the revised map that Yahara Materials plans to gain access to STH 73 via an old farm entrance. This will not be acceptable without approval from the State wide access committee. I will not request the committee to change this access. This section of highway is controlled under statue 84.25. The current authorization is for ag use only. I see no public benefit in allowing the trucks to enter and exit at this location. I would not support any request to change the use of this driveway. If Yahara wishes to open a quarry at this location they will have to seek access another way. I will also ask that any approval to the CUP be based on gaining access first.
From the audio if minutes of the Dane County ZLR meeting May 13, 2014 starting at 34:30:
Salov: Access to Highway 73 (inaudible) I see something in the documentation about that access, that...um, is that assured? Is that questionable?
Lane: That is one of the required conditions in the conditional use permit, if the, uh,condition is not,uh...um
Lane: ...If, yeah, if, if, if the, if they cannot meet one of this, one of these conditions, uh...the conditional use permit is null and void. They will need to come back to this committee, if, um,um, they do not achieve that access point. Uh...it's stated in condition 10 the operator and hauler shall access CUP site from Hwy 73 as depicted on the operations plan date May 7, 2014.
Salov: Have we heard from DOT on this?
Lane: I believe...
Salov: Cause if?
Lane: I believe the operator may have better knowledge
Salov: If I, if I may ask the operator please sir...
Yahara Rep: Uh, we have been in conversations with the DOT...uh...Hwy 73 is a controlled access highway, uh, there is a process we have to go through to get a permit for entering highway 73 for DOT work. One of the things is the quarry proposal is exclusively for DOT work on the interstate, uh, we can access the access the interstate directly going out the backside from the property because the interstate abuts directly in back of this property.
Salov: Okay...Do you, do you have a contract right now?
Yahara Rep: No...we do, we do not have a contract.
A Yahara Materials representative stated at a public meeting that there would be as many as 200 truckloads a day leaving this quarry. That would mean an additional 200 empty trucks entering each day, that is one truck impeding traffic on Hwy 73 every 1.8 minutes. After extreme public opposition, that same Yahara Materials representative has changed that story several times, then admitted that if they secure a material contract for I 39/90 it could be that full volume of up to 200 loads per day. Again, the Wis DOT permitting officials have clearly stated that this does not serve the public, nor the purpose of designating Hwy 73 as the alternate route for the I 39/90 highway construction, and in fact it is completely contrary to that very purpose. The State of Wisconsin is investing millions of dollars to improve highway 73 to handle the alternate volume of traffic, is it fair to negate that investment by all Wisconsin tax payers and both inconvenience and endanger the public to add wealth to two private entities? A very large number of your constituents say no.
The area in question is just south of the S curve intersection of Craig Rd. and Hwy 73. Even with the new design of a straighter curve in the Hwy 73 reconstruction, traffic flows very fast through this stretch and this driveway is not readily visible from a distance to traffic traveling from the north. The proposed access sets within a very narrow strip of land between two private properties and is permitted as an agricultural access road only. During periods of planting and harvesting, the large corporate farm vehicles entering and exiting this road has been a yearly traffic congestion issue, but only a couple times a day for a couple weeks a year. This quarry intends to use this access for constant heavy truck entering and exiting into and from traffic traveling at the highway speeds of 55 mph for ten years, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon. thru Friday and 6 a.m to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
According to multiple studies, the acceleration of a fully loaded gravel truck to highway speed, at a weight of 55,000 lbs. is an average of over 2500 ft.. That is almost half a mile. At the rate of volume that is proposed for this quarry, that would constantly reduce the highway speeds on that stretch of Hwy 73, and it will also cause a merging hazard. The braking distance of an empty truck to enter this road is over 400 feet, with the addition of braking awareness time. There is not sufficient or available land in either the north or south approach to this driveway to construct adequate acceleration nor deceleration bypass lanes to prevent extreme traffic congestion caused by this quarry operation accessing state highway 73. Again, this is not only the designated alternate route for I 39/90 traffic, but it is also the main route for emergency fire and rescue vehicles for the area residents.
Also according to multiple studies, the accident rates are much higher when operations of this type are allowed into rural areas. One of the main issues presented to area residents by the Wis DOT officials at all the public meetings on the Hwy 73 reconstruction project has been to improve safety on Hwy 73, this driveway will also negate that purpose. Many area residents have lost property, buildings, and mature trees to the Hwy 73 project. they are very upset that they will now lose the benefit of improved safety that they have all sacrificed so much for the state to achieve, and that loss all to become for the exclusive benefit of two private for profit entities. Hwy 73 should not even be considered as an access for this volume of traffic for two purely for profit entities over the rights and safety of area residents, Wisconsin citizens, and travelers to our state.
Regarding the attempt by Yahara Materials/Crazy Acres Inc./James Wileman to use pressure and influence to violate law 84.25, a law that is designed to protect the citizens of the state of Wisconsin and travelers of our safe highways, and over ride the decision of the regional Wis. DOT permitting official to try to gain unsafe an un allowed access to Hwy 73 for a purely for profit enterprise that provides the public no good.
Area residents have made great sacrifice to comply with the DOT in this project based on the promise that this project is for the public good, to improve flow, improve safety, and provide an orderly quick and safe route for I 39/90 during incident and construction. The DOT website for the Hwy 73 project clearly defines these goals, and area residents have justified their personal loss to the project based on those promised goals.
Under Need/purpose, the DOT published:
Deteriorating pavement and numerous geometric deficiencies along WIS 73 have resulted in high amounts of crashes.
Crash data from 2005 to 2009 show four key areas that are flagged for improvements:
WIS 106 to Craig Rd.;
County A intersection;
Church Rd. to County B; and
Koshkonong Rd. intersection.
Two fatalities occurred at the County A intersection between 2010 and 2011 that are likely attributed to the poor visibility at that intersection.
There were also two Type A (incapacitating) severity crashes and eleven Type B (bodily injury) crashes along WIS 73 since 2010.
This requested access by Yahara Materials is within the stretch between Wis 106 and Craig Rd., and very close to the curve, and even with the straightening of this curve, there is limited visual view from the north approach to that farm drive. People traveling at highway speed would not have insufficient warning of backups creating a safety hazard.
Intersection angles at Craig Rd. East and West, and US 12/18, do not meet current standards.
Reconfiguration of all intersections along WIS 73 to improve overall mobility and efficiency for through traffic, especially in the event of a major incident on I-39/90 when traffic could be diverted onto WIS 73.
This requested access will stall overall mobility and efficiency at all times and create extreme
delays and backups during times when traffic is diverted onto Hwy 73. Yahara materials own rep
stated in a public meeting that if they get the contract for materials for I 39/90 they would be hauling
200 fully loaded trucks out of this quarry per day. That means an additional 200 empty trucks will have
to enter as well. That is one truck every 1.8 minutes. It takes and empty truck over 400 feet to slow to
a stop to enter, and over 2500 feet for a loaded truck to reach highway speed. It is contrary to the
purpose of diverting traffic to highway 73 to allow access by Yahara Materials to highway 73. It will
stall traffic at the very times when traffic is needed to be diverted to highway 73 to prevent traffic stalls.
It will also endanger area residents ability to obtain immediate emergency fire and medical service. It
will cause an extreme hazard and delays for our children that ride, enter, and exit school buses on 73.
Alternate route for I-39/90
WIS 73 continues to serve as an alternate route for I-39/90 to facilitate incident management.
WisDOT identified WIS 73 as a potential reliever route for I-39/90 traffic in the event of an incident on the Interstate between Albion and Madison. If a major interstate incident were to occur, traffic could be diverted on WIS 73 to US 12/18.
It will be impossible for highway 73 to handle that volume of interstate traffic diverted
without safety and backup hazards with even a fraction of the truck volume Yahara
Materials plans for this access drive. This is contrary to the public good, the public
safety, and efficient flow on Hwy 73.
To allow this access would negate those goals in both safe and efficient alternate route, and in safety improvement. It does not serve the public and will be an abuse of the citizens trust if the DOT permits access to Yahara Materials that will impede and diminish the flow and safety on the new Hwy 73. Yahara Materials has repeatedly cited their sole reason for locating in this area as to reduce trucking costs for additional profit. It is not ethical to endanger and inconvenience the public as a whole for the profit of one entity.