North Avenue, Brookfield Road roundabout nearly ready

Aug. 12, 2014

The second roundabout in the city of Brookfield will be finished in time to accommodate both Waukesha County's own timeline and the new school year.

The roundabout, which has resulted in necessary detours around the intersection of North Avenue and Brookfield Road for most of the summer, has been built with the goal of lessening the burden on an area dense with traffic, particularly at peak hours.

"We are definitely on schedule; it's great news," said Waukesha County Director of Public Works Allison Bussler. "We expect to be wrapping things up in the next week or so."

Among work that still needs to be completed to finish the intersection's makeover are signs, barricades and pavement markings. The county has scheduled a ribbon-cutting for the roundabout Aug. 25.

"I know some aldermen had been receiving calls asking about the progress, so we're happy," said Tom Grisa, city of Brookfield director of public works. "We're always glad when detours go away. We don't like them anymore than (citizens)."

The county originally budgeted $925,000 for the entire project, including design, construction and land acquisition. Bussler says that the project will likely come in very close to that estimated cost, but she was unsure of the bottom line.

"It will be very close to being on budget," she said. "We don't have all the numbers in. It's going to be very tight. I know that we won't have a lot of money to spare, but it (also) won't be significantly over budget."

Construction on the project began in mid-June after county officials chose a roundabout over a traffic signal as a remedy for congestion at the intersection.

"We wanted to address the delays that are occurring during peak hours," Bussler said in June. "Roundabouts reduce accidents, especially severe accidents, because you don't get the T-bone collisions that you do at conventional intersections. Roundabouts are a traffic-calming device. Everyone has to slow down."

County officials consulted with Grisa and other city of Brookfield officials, who agreed that a roundabout would be the ideal option.

Bussler noted that while Waukesha County is seeing an increased number of roundabouts on its streets, they do not represent a blanket solution to traffic issues.

"It is standard procedure for us to at least consider using a roundabout, but they're not the best answer in every situation," she said. "It's definitely something for us to consider when making (future) improvements."

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