Brown Deer — Brown Deer residents will be able to voice their concerns about a reconstructed interchange at Green Bay Road and Brown Deer Road at a public hearing later this month.
The state's Department of Transportation plans to reconstruct Highway 57 — known locally as Green Bay Road — from Teutonia Avenue in Brown Deer to Mequon Road in Mequon. Construction isn't scheduled to begin until 2019, but DOT officials are drafting design plans and acquiring the necessary real estate this year.
Plans call for the reconstruction of the interchange where Brown Deer Road and Green Bay Road intersect, bicycle lanes and wider paved shoulders, intersection changes, grass terraces and sidewalks, and signal upgrades. Brown Deer Road under the overpass will also be expanded to six total lanes to match the rest of road east and west of the overpass.
Since the plans were initially presented in January 2013, the Brown Deer Village Board has since passed a formal resolution expressing its opposition to an interchange at Green Bay Road and Brown Deer Road rebuilt with a bridge, overpass and onramps.
The DOT has said there is not enough vertical clearance for Brown Deer Road traffic under the Green Bay Road overpass. The DOT also says the project is necessary to remedy projected increases in traffic, deteriorating pavement and safety concerns.
Trustees prefer an at-grade intersection, which means Brown Deer Road and Green Bay Road would intersect with each other. The two streets would Residents will be able to voice those concerns during a DOT public meeting held on Thursday, July 31, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Lois and Tom Dolan Community Center at 4355 W. Bradley Road.
Brown Deer Community Development Director Nate Piotrowski said he believes the DOT is open to an at-grade intersection, which he said would eliminate the "freeway feel" when drivers enter into Brown Deer.
"For us, this is an important meeting, and we really want the community to come out and be heard on this," Piotrowski said. "We feel this is kind of an albatross, and if we can minimize the footprint of that intersection, it will be better for the village."
In addition to aesthetics, Piotrowski said the proposed interchange also limits access to businesses and parcels of land that could be redeveloped. With an at-grade intersection, the village would have opportunities to develop the outlot in front of TJ Maxx, create driveways into the original village or create driveways near the Fox 6 studios.
"Getting rid of this massive interchange will really unlock the potential there," Piotrowski said.
Piotrowski also said the cost of the DOT's proposed diamond interchange is $2 million more expensive than an at-grade interchange. Because the DOT looks at reconstructing highways every 50 years, Piotrowski said he hopes residents will turn out to the meeting on July 31.
"This is a decision that will impact Brown Deer for the next 50 years," he said. "However we move forward, we are going to have to live with this bridge or whatever design we choose for a long time. It's important we get it right and it's important that the citizens be heard on this."
IF YOU GO
What: DOT public hearing on the reconstruction of Green Bay Road from Teutonia Avenue in Brown Deer to Mequon Road in Mequon.
When: July 31 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: Lois and Tom Dolan Community Center, 4355 W. Bradley Road.
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