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Hortonville bypass opening soon

Hortonville Village Board President Jeanne Bellile cuts the ribbon on a newly finished section of the State Highway 15 Hortonville Bypass Wednesday, Nov. 1. The east segment of the bypass could open by Nov. 17. From left, Village Trustee Jim Moeller, Bellile, Trustees Julie Arendt Vanden Heuvel, and Grace Abitz, Administrator Nathan Treadwell and Trustee Shauna Strelow. John Faucher Photo

Ribbon cutting on State 15

By John Faucher

Commuters between New London, Hortonville and Greenville will soon have a faster, safer route to the Appleton area on a newly constructed four-lane State Highway 15 Bypass.

State and local officials joined in celebration of the nearly completed east Hortonville bypass segment Wednesday, Nov. 1.

The east segment from Hortonville to Greenville is set to open by Nov. 17, weather permitting.

Construction of the west segment of State 15 from Hortonville to New London is in progress and expected to finish late next year.

The total 11-mile corridor project, including design, real estate and construction, has an estimated cost of $137.9 million.

Project history

Planning for the corridor improvements emore than 20 years ago, and in June of 2007, WisDOT selected a preferred corridor route based on the level of mobility it would provide the public and a goal to minimize impact on the surrounding environment.

According to WisDOT, the current project design received the most favorable comments during the public involvement period.

The Transportation Projects Commission enumerated the project in 2011.

The project was initially scheduled for construction in fiscal year 2017, but was delayed due to budget constraints following a statewide program review.

During the delay, pressure on the existing State 15 continued to grow and accidents occurred at a rate higher than the state average.

According to WisDOT crash history, there were 418 crashes with 104 injuries and 15 fatalities, on State 15 from US Highway 45 in New London to Lily of the Valley Drive in Greenville between January 2014 to June 2021.

The annual average daily traffic on the route east of Hortonville is 18,700 vehicles.
Average daily traffic through Hortonville is 13,200.

Traffic west of Hortonville averages 10,200 vehicles per day.

Prior to construction, roughly 300 access points existed along State 15.

More than 200 access points were eliminated or modified as part of the project and roughly 90 access points remain.

According to WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson, the new changes in roadway design will help improve safety and reduce crash related issues.

He said the improvements would also enhance economic development by providing easier travel, lower transportation costs, and a better means to transfer goods and services.

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