BROWN DEER - Milwaukee County is thinking about constructing a roundabout next year at the confusing, crisscrossing intersection of Teutonia Avenue and Bradley Road.
The intersection will be redesigned as part of a pavement rehabilitation project on Teutonia Avenue from Good Hope Road to Bradley Road. The project is being designed by the county this year to to allow for construction in the summer of 2018.
The county has not yet entered the design phase of the planning process, but has conducted an evaluation with four options. The first option would simply upgrade the traffic signals. The second option would upgrade the traffic signals while "adding some channelization and reducing some of the large median widths within the intersection to make it clear to drivers which way to turn and to try to lessen the confusion in that intersection," said Marc Hilliard, an engineer with Milwaukee County.
The other two options are both roundabouts, which would allow cars to move freely through the intersection while also reducing traffic speeds. The county has proposed two different roundabout options: a four-legged roundabout and a three-legged roundabout that removes the northern leg of Teutonia Avenue. The three-legged roundabout option would divert northbound traffic on Teutonia Avenue west onto Bradley Road, then northbound on Sherman Boulevard.
By eliminating the northern stretch of Teutonia Avenue, an additional 4.8 acres of vacant land would be opened up for redevelopment. The northern leg of Teutonia Avenue, however, has storm sewer, sanitary sewer, water main and gas utilities buried under the street. The difficulty and expense of digging up and relocating those utilities could make the three-legged roundabout unfeasible. If the three-legged roundabout option is chosen, utility relocation would occur in spring 2018 to allow for construction in summer of 2018.
Hilliard said the county's preference is the three-legged roundabout, as it creates a new buildable parcel and improved "geometrics."
If the section of Teutonia Avenue north of Bradley Road was eliminated, the county would later straighten out the curve on Sherman Boulevard. The county does not have a timeline on when that straightening project would occur.
Trustee Terry Boschert said he thought the three-legged roundabout would cause westbound and northbound traffic to stack up on Bradley Road between Sherman Boulevard and Teutonia Avenue.
"It already stacks up pretty good there now and we still have northbound traffic on Teutonia," he said. "By forcing everybody to go on Bradley, I think there's going to be congestion, and it's going to be problematic."
Hilliard said stacking and congestion could be prevented by synchronizing a traffic detector with the traffic lights at Sherman Boulevard and Bradley Road.
The county will present all four options at a public information meeting that has not yet been scheduled. Once public feedback is collected, the county will return to the village board with an update this summer.