As the city of Hudson begins its study on the Carmichael Road Corridor, staff are looking for input from Hudson citizens with a public session from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at city hall.
Comprised of Carmichael Road from the former St. Croix Meadows racing track to the Hudson Middle School, the section has been a traffic concern for years.
"It's been an issue in Hudson for as long as I can remember and I grew up here," said Community Development Director Mike Johnson.
The area is one of two crossings over Interstate 94, and is one of two complete interchanges from I-94 into Hudson. As new developments are built and planned in the area, like the redevelopment of the racing track, traffic will increase. Johnson said the area currently sees about 30,000 cars a day, and a Wisconsin DOT study estimates that could grow to 50,000.
"We need to make sure that we plan for that growth on Carmichael Road," Johnson said.
The city will be working with Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH) and a traffic consultant for the study, which will examine traffic volume data and forecasts, timing of traffic signals and potential future development. It will also take into account bike and pedestrian traffic.
"It's really a comprehensive and pretty detailed look of how that corridor functions," Johnson said.
Some traffic studies have already been done in the area as new developments came up, so Johnson said they have a good start. He expects the study to be complete by the end of the year.
The goal of the study is to develop potential solutions for the future and to consider alternate route potentials. It will also serve to inform future decisions around the area.
"Carmichael Road is always going to be busy, right, it always will be," Johnson said. "The expectation is that hopefully we can move traffic much more efficiently through our community."
As I-94 is state-controlled, the city is limited on what it can do in the Carmichael Road and I-94 interchange. Johnson said Exit 2 is scheduled at the state-level for a complete redo in the next five years or so, though he said that timing could change. The information from the study will be shared with the state to help inform its decision.
Johnson said the city will also be looking for any potential short-term, low-cost solutions that it can implement.
"Our hope is that we can alleviate some of the issues sooner than later," Johnson said.
At the public hearing, Johnson said no design options or results will be presented, but that the city hopes to hear from the public on concerns and ideas.
"The general population that uses that corridor everyday knows better than I think just about anybody how that functions," Johnson said.
At the moment, the city plans to host about two of these public meetings throughout the planning process.