Roundabout To Have Impact On Speed On Kemp St.

Nov 13, 2018

DOT drawing of Hwys. 47 & 8 roundabout
Credit Wisconsin DOT

The state Department of Transportation is constructing a roundabout next year at the main intersection on Rhinelander's west side where highways 47 and 8 merge.

City of Rhinelander officials are working to adjust traffic speeds coming into the city on Business Highway 8 or Kemp St. The city council this week found out the city already has the power to adjust the speed limit.

Currently the speed is set at 45, reducing to 25 just before the Davenport Street bridge. Speeds often are above those posted limits.

Council member Dawn Rog said it might be time to adjust down that speed limit...

"...We did talk about that at committee and it did make sense that once the roundabout is done, we were told that the average speed would be about 20 m.p.h. coming out of the roundabout, so why would we up it back to 35, then back down to 25 before it gets to the Chamber(of Commerce), which made a lot of sense. That was talked about. Should we do it now, or wait until after the roundabout, then lower it to 25...."

The committee had discussed moving the limit to 35 now prior to roundabout construction.

Mayor Chris Frederickson said one main goal was safety for pedestrians...

"...The discussed change had a lot to do with safety. It had a lot to do with pedestrian Chief(Gauthier) has pointed out, you can add five miles to that. 25 is more appropriate to let a pedestrian cross that...."

While the city has the authority to lower the speed limit, because it's a state road, it also needs approval by the DOT, which officials felt should be the first step. Police Chief Lloyd Gauthier said one option would be to bring it up at an upcoming safety meeting involving several highway safety officials.

The council tabled any action until December after Gauthier gets input from the safety committee and reports back.