The Door County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a resolution to spend another $152,000 on improvements to a Town of Sevastopol intersection.
The county Highway and Facilities Committee issued a recommendation to the board to approve the additional expense. The project was approved last year at an initial cost of $100,000.
The county plans to make the Highway BB (Gordon Road) and Highway 42 and 57 intersection a right turn only lane, which would force drivers turning northbound to use the roundabout at Egg Harbor Road instead of making a left turn.
The intersection has been the site of several car accidents, resulting in injuries and one fatality from 2014 to late 2022, according to Door County Sheriff’s Office reports. Nearly half of the 25 reported accidents involved drivers attempting a left turn onto Highway 42 and 57.
The State Department of Transportation received a grant earlier this year for a possible roundabout at the intersection, but that will take time, according to Highway Commissioner Thad Ash.
“The state has informed me that with all the attention this intersection has gotten … they’re trying to fast line it, but realistically we won’t see anything until probably 2027 at the earliest,” said Ash. Plans to build a child care center near the intersection mean increased traffic before a roundabout can be built, he added.
DOT requirements for the state highway system are partially responsible for the $152,000 shortfall in funds for the project, Ash reported. These include reflective delineators and tape; adding an acceleration lane; paving the shoulder; and improving the culvert under the road.
Additional improvements to the county’s Egg Harbor Road and Gordon Road where they intersect with Old Highway Road have also been identified by project engineers, and include expanded turning radiuses. The shoulder of Egg Harbor Road near the intersection of Highway 42 and 57 has deteriorated and needs to be “spruced up if we are to add traffic to that road,” said Ash.
The county would like to begin the project sooner than Labor Day, and is appealing a state decision to prohibit lane and shoulder closures on its highway system between July 1 and September 1.
Ash stressed the temporary nature of part of the $252,000 county project. “Whatever we choose to do, when the roundabout goes in, everything at that intersection will be gone. The only thing that will be there when the roundabout goes in are our improvements on Egg Harbor Road,” he said.
Land acquisition and public input sessions are necessary for the state roundabout project, but not the county’s plans, according to Ash.
Supervisor Nissa Norton, who represents parts of the City of Sturgeon Bay, asked if there have been any accidents at the intersection this year. Not yet, said Ash.
The most severe crashes, involving bodily injury and death, are those turning left onto Highway 42 and 57 from Gordon Road, said Ash.
The board approved the expenditure of the additional $152,00 with 20 votes in favor and one absent. The next regular County Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 25, at 9 a.m.