Leaders in Outagamie County and the Village in Hortonville are hoping to receive some good news by the end of the week out of the state budget, before it’s turned over to Governor Scott Walker to sign.
It’s anticipated that once again funding for a Highway 15 bypass project in Hortonville will again be left out of the biennium budget to the disappointment of many in the village. One of the most important aspects is safety.
“If you look at the accidents on Highway 15, the majority of them are related to on and off traffic, like making left turns, making right turns, going into driveways,” said Village Administrator Diane Wessel. “It has to do with access and stopped vehicle being rear-ended.”
The project would be a four-lane divided highway from Greenville out to Hortonville, which would bypass Hortonville to New London. Wessel says for whatever reason, the heavy traffic numbers aren’t being recognized.
“It’s very obvious if you’re in Hortonville and the surrounding areas, that people are taking other routes,” she said. “Those routes, other highways, are collectors. They are not intended for arterial type of traffic.”
A Highway 15 bypass is expected to cost about $148 million, and the budget that came from the Joint Finance Committee didn’t include any funding, something that advocates have been pushing for since the early 2000’s.
Wessel is also frustrated at the ambiguity of some legislators on where they stand on the matter because it’s also village residents who will suffer.
“The property is now off the tax rolls, which I know would happen regardless, but we’re not getting the benefit,” she said. “We get all the pain and none of the reward.”
The village is hoping for answers by the end of this week.