Marshfield (OnFocus) – Wisconsin Highway 97 between Marshfield and Stratford is one of the more dangerous stretches of highway in the Central Wisconsin area.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), there were 216 crashes that took place on that stretch from 2012-2016. More than one-third of these were car/deer incidents.
Of the remaining crashes, the most common involved rear end collisions of vehicles entering or slowing to leave WIS 97 and being hit by through traffic. The next highest trend was lane departure crashes with a vehicle leaving the roadway and entering the ditch. During this time frame, 52 crashes involved injuries to 93 persons and 3 fatalities.
WisDOT contracted a corridor study of the roadway, which was completed in 2018 as a precursor to a planned paving project scheduled on WIS 97. No further studies are currently scheduled.
“This study identified several safety enhancements to address crash trends. A project currently scheduled for construction in 2022 is proposed to widen the intersection of Marathon County AAA/ Galvin Road, Marathon County C (East) and Staadt Avenue and add left turn lanes to separate turning traffic from through traffic,” said a WisDOT representative. “”The project will repave WIS 97 and provide 5-foot-wide paved shoulders with rumble strips, centerline rumble strips.”
“To address the identified trend related to vehicles leaving the roadway and travel lanes, the shoulders of WIS 97 will also be widened from 3-ft paved to 5-ft paved and shoulder rumble strips will be added to reduce run off road crashes,” they added. “Centerline rumble strips will be added as well to reduce sideswipe crashes and head-on crashes.”
Those that have a concern about HWY 97 are welcome to attend County traffic safety commission meeting and voice their concerns. The next upcoming Marathon County traffic safety commission meeting is planned for August 5th at 1 pm at 212 River Drive in Wausau.
Contact the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office for more information.
Citizens may also reach out to the WisDOT NC Region office directly via email or by telephone. Contact information is provided on the WisDOT website HERE.
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