BD Operations Committee Discusses Highway 33 Project

The Beaver Dam Operations Committee last night held their first official discussion on plans to re-route Highway 33 around the city. Engineering Coordinator Ritchie Piltz outlined the details of a jurisdictional transfer that would see Highway 33 traffic instead use Highway 151 and County Highway B. The reconstruction of downtown Highway 33 was planned for 2014 but the state expects to complete most of the current Highway 151 reconstruction this year, leaving money in the budget to start the Highway 33 project one year earlier. The only problem: a turn-of-the-century building at the corner of Front and Center that would need to come down to accommodate truck traffic on a reconstructed state highway. Because it is in a historical district, a two-year study is required. Alderman Robert Ballweg suggested the city should wait the two years but Piltz said that would delay the project indefinitely and there is no guarantee the demolition would be approved leaving only re-routing. As part of the agreement, the state would mill and overlay County Highway B in 2014 and then designate it as Highway 33 and reassign the existing route through the city as “Business Route 33.” A jurisdictional transfer will need to be approved by the city, state, township and county. A public informational meeting is planned at Beaver Dam City Hall on Tuesday, August 7.