The high water flow of the Fox River has degraded the base of County Highway W. The pavement is unsupported and cracking, and officials are afraid the road could collapse at any time (Gail Peckler-Dziki/The Report).

By Gail Peckler-Dziki
Correspondent

County Highway W, which runs between Wisconsin 50 and Wilmot, has been closed since early November.

The base of the road that runs close to the Fox River at 7700 — near the river’s bend just south of New Munster Wildlife Area — has been damaged by high water and has been washing into the river and putting the top of the road at risk of collapse.

A fallen tree about 100 feet south of the affected area holds the water back that continues to saturate and degrade the road base.

“At the Oct. 28 town board meeting, Chief Lou Denko mentioned that the bank was being eroded and needed to be checked,” Wheatland Town Clerk Sheila Siegler said. “Chairman (Bill) Glembocki said he would look at it the next morning, which he did, and at that time was concerned about how dangerous it was and sounded the alarm.”

One day after the meeting, Glembocki met with folks from the Kenosha County Highway Department.

“We looked at it and saw how the road base was degrading,” Glembocki said. “The road was closed a couple hours after that. In the 30- plus years I’ve lived in Wheatland, I have never seen the river as high as it’s been for the past three years.”

The base under County W is saturated and the moving water is pulling out the gravel along the shoulder, forcing the pavement to buckle as it drops.

The main concern that day was the snow that was heading to western Kenosha County.

“We were concerned that if the road collapsed when a snowplow was in that area,” Glembocki said, “the truck would end up in the 14 feet of water and injure or kill the driver.”

County W is the main road for people traveling from Milwaukee and Chicago to Wilmot Mountain resort.

“Now, that traffic is being sent down County Highway JI,” Glembocki said.

That is a concern because there are many more homes located along JI than W.

Kenosha County District 22 board member Erin Decker also has been keeping a close eye on the situation.

Decker said she reviewed the situation with Clement Abongwa, Kenosha County Director of Highways, in November.

“Mr. Abongwa explained the issues with the saturated roadbed and the associated safety concerns,” she said. “We also discussed a few of the consultant’s suggestions on how best to repair the road.”

To see the video Decker made when she visited the area, go online to facebook.com/groups/1731716707052249/permalink/2399878120236101?sfns=mo.

She said she has followed up with Abongwa.

See the Dec. 20 print edition of the Twin Lakes Report for the full story

 
 

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