TRANSPORTATION

 

Introduction

The Town of Spring Brook's road network is currently adequate for the needs of its citizens and businesses.  The Town has approximately 91.5 miles of roadway consisting of about 78.5 miles that are paved with blacktop and about 13 miles that are gravel or dirt.  These roadways should be upgraded and maintained as needed to provide adequate transportation for the citizens.  New roads will be added to the Town's system as land is developed.  The location and placement of new roads must be approved by the Town Board and new roads must be constructed by developers to Town of Spring Brook standards if they wish them to be adopted by the Town.

 

Selected Survey Results

            Several questions in the first Landowner Survey dealt with transportation.  The questions and their results are:

 

 

Strongly Disagree

Disagree

Agree

Strongly
Agree

No Response

27. Traffic is increasing on the roads in the town.

4

38

246

102

29

28. Town of Spring Brook roads are adequate to meet my needs.

13

39

297

44

26

29. The roads and highways in the Town of Spring Brook adequately meet the needs of the citizens and businesses.

13

40

295

42

29

 

43. Why do you live where you live? (Check all that apply)

117

Farm here

116

Reasonable Cost of living

121

School District

253

Pleasant Surroundings

95

Born here

162

Easy access to work

180

Safe area

 

 

Other, please list:

           

There were two questions in the second landowner survey that dealt with transportation:

1. As we noted in the last newsletter, the cost for maintaining roads in our township is the largest item in the town budget. Greater than 60% of the money spent by the town goes towards roads. The town receives state aid for road maintenance, but this aid has only covered 55% of the cost the past few years. The largest single cost is for repaving roads which runs approximately $60,000 per mile. Would you be willing to see some of our more rural roads revert back to gravel as a cost savings measure?  Yes/No

Yes – 101 (46%)     No – 106 (48%)    No Response – 13 (6%)

2. Our town does not currently have an ordinance covering the construction of new roads in the township. When land is developed and new roads and streets are constructed by the developer, there are currently few requirements as to how these roads and streets should be built. The township is typically expected to take over ownership/maintenance of these roads, and if they aren’t built to acceptable standards, the maintenance costs could be excessive. Would you support development and adoption of an ordinance that would establish standards for construction of new roads in our township? Yes/no

Yes – 190 (86%)    No – 20 (9%)    No Response – 10 (5%)

 

Highways

Dunn County has four roads that run through the Town.  On the eastern side of the Town, County Road EE runs from County Road H into Eau Claire County.  County Road C runs east west through the entire township. County Road E enters the township in the northwest quadrant and generally runs east west providing a connection between State Highway 29 and Eau Claire County at Elk Creek Lake.  County Road H runs north south, offering access to State Highway 12 to the north, crosses the Chippewa River, and joins State Highway 85 to the south. County Road J runs east west, it enters the town on the western edge of the town and intersects with County Road C near Fall City.  There is a total of 36 miles of county highway in the township. 

            A very short portion, less than ˝ mile, of Interstate 94 runs through the far northeast corner of the Township.  Access to Interstate 94 can be made by following State Highway 12/29 east to the Interstate 94 State Highway 29 Interchange, or by following County Road EE east to the Interstate 94/ State Highway 124 interchange.              

Road Classifications

 

Principle arterials serve intra-urban trips and/or carry high traffic volumes (interstates and freeways).  There is a small section of Interstate 94 running through the town however, there is no access to the Interstate in the town.

Minor arterials serve cities, large communities and other large traffic generators.  There are none in the Town.

Major collectors provide services to moderate sized communities linking them to nearby population centers and higher function routes.  State Highway 12/29 runs adjacent to the town, connecting it with the City of Menomonie and Interstate 94.  

Minor collectors collect traffic from local roads and provide links to all smaller communities, locally important traffic generators, and higher function roads.  Minor collectors in the township are county roads C, E, EE, H and J.  These roads connect either to other county roads, state roads or local roads to serve all destinations within the town and allow access to higher function roads beyond the town boundaries.

Local roads are all roads not classified as arterial or collector.

 

Road Pavement

According to state law, the Township inspects all roads eligible for state aid on a bi-annual basis and assigns a pavement condition rating. The system used is PASER (Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating ).  The PASER Rating System is used to evaluate each road segment, based on a scale 1-10.

Each PASER rating is associated with a road condition, a type of road treatment and an average cost per mile to implement the required road treatment. The following table identifies each PASER rating and other associated categories.

 

PASER

Rating

Condition

Type of Treatment

Average Cost Per Mile

1

Failed

Reconstruction

125,000

2

Very Poor

Reconstruction

75,000

3

Poor

Mill & Pave

50,000

4-5

Fair

Overlay

35,000

6-7

Good

Sealcoat

7,000

8

Very Good

Crack Seal

2,500

9-10

Excellent

None

0

 

 

 

Town Road Analysis

The PASER study was analyzed and the ratings were then transferred to the Transportation Map in Appendix E. The map is a resource which could be used by town officials to assess future transportation needs. Future transportation needs is an important issue since road maintenance is a significant portion of the town’s annual budget. The rising cost of labor and materials coupled with the state’s desire to cut road aid could lead to a situation where the level of road maintenance may become an issue. Future maintenance plans should not only account for existing roads and maintenance but these plans should also consider the affect new roads will have on the annual budget.  As new residential developments come on line there will most likely be pressure to take ownership and maintenance responsibilities of additional roads. Currently the town has not adopted a town road standard nor is there a process in place to insure that when the town takes ownership of a road that it has been constructed to any standard. To address these concerns a goal to develop an enforceable road construction ordinance was adopted. See the Implementation section of the plan for Goals and detailed Objectives.

 

Local Five Year Improvement Plan

The town does not have a formal five year plan.  Instead on an annual basis the board inspects the condition of town roads to determine if maintenance is required.

County Five Year Improvement Plan

Name

From

To

Year

CTH C

CTH J

Eau Claire County line

2006

State Five Year Improvement Plan

The states five year plans have no impact since there are no state highways within the town.

 

Existing Transportation Facilities

 

Air Transportation

Two light aircraft airports are nearby, Menomonie and Boyceville.  The Chippewa Valley Regional Airport, located on the north side of Eau Claire off USH 53, is a mid-size airport with regularly scheduled passenger service.  The major airport in the region is the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.

 

Rail Transportation

Two rail lines, Wisconsin Central Limited (WCL) and the Canadian National Railway Company (CN), cross Dunn county.

 

Bicycle/Walking Trails

Bike and pedestrian facilities should be encouraged when any roadways in the Town are upgraded.  Dunn County currently does not have a county-wide bike trail map or plan, but there are three Wisconsin State Trails that are in, or run through Dunn County.

The Red Cedar State Trail begins at the Menomonie Depot off SH 29, runs near the Red Cedar River for 14 1/2 miles, and connects to the Chippewa River State Trail.   The trail accommodates walking, bicycling, and cross country skiing.    The Chippewa River State Trail is a scenic multi-use trail that follows the Chippewa River from Chippewa Falls to Durand.  Part of it runs just south of the Town of Spring Brook border and can be accessed by following County Road H south about one mile from the Chippewa River bridge.  The Hoffman Hills State Recreation Area is a hiking and cross country ski area. A 60 foot tower allows viewing of a four county area. Hiking trails traverse prairie, woodland, or wetlands.

            Local snowmobile clubs have reached agreements with individual land owners to use local trails.  There are no state or county trails in the Town of Spring Brook.

 

Special Transit Facilities

Disabled Elderly Transportation (DET) is a private non-profit organization.  DET's specialized service is available to elderly and disabled individuals throughout Dunn County who require transportation.  DET coordinates volunteer drivers with passengers in rural areas.  All requests for volunteer drivers require a 48-hour advance notice and appropriate authorization.  Contact the Dunn County Office on Aging.

 

Freight Transportation

            Freight movement in the region is dominated by trucking.  Given national trends in the air cargo industry and rail industry, it is expected trucking will remain the dominant mode of freight transportation well into the future.  The closest trucking companies are located in Eau Claire, Menomonie, and the Twin Cities.

 

Water Transportation

            There are no water transportation facilities in the town or within Dunn County. The nearest facilities exist up and down the Mississippi River, with the closest being the Nelson and Alma areas.

Existing Transportation Plans

Translinks 21

Translinks 21 is a Department of Transportation program that provides policy level guidance for the preparation of individual plans for highways, airports, railroads, bikeways, and transit.  Of particular importance are the $175 million Country Roads Program "to maintain less-traveled state highways and provide habitat and landscape improvements to enhance the scenic, historic, and other attractions surrounding the highway" and the Local Road Improvement Program "to help local communities pay for needed improvements on local routes."

 

Wisconsin State Highway Plan-2020

The State Highway Plan 2020 sets forth investment needs and priorities for the state's trunk highways.  Backbone and collector routes have been identified. 

 

Midwest Regional Rail System

The Midwest Regional Rail System is a plan to improve the rail network in the Midwest.  Passenger service would be available in Eau Claire and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

 

Wisconsin Bicycle Transportation Plan-2020

The Wisconsin State Bicycle Transportation Plan - 2020 promotes bicycling between communities.  The suitability of the Township for bicycle traffic may be a subject of interest.

 

 

State Recreational Trails Network Plan

The State Trails Network Plan (DNR) encourages communities to develop additional trails linking to the statewide trail system.  Planners could work with the DNR and the DOT's Bicycle Transportation Plan to establish such trails.

 

Wisconsin State Airport System Plan-2020

The Wisconsin State Airport System Plan - 2020 seeks to preserve and improve the 100 public use airports that are part of the system.