FIX IT GUARDRAIL I-94

The area where an accident occurred involving a short section of guardrail on northbound I-94 between Highway A and Highway KR is shown on March 23.

Today’s problem: A reader contacted Fix, saying, “I’ve noticed the new sections of (Highway) I-94 in Kenosha (and) Racine don’t have anything between the highway and (the) frontage road.”

This person had passed by the remnants of an accident on northbound Interstate 94 between Highway A and Highway KR on March 23, where a short section of guardrail was damaged near a concrete pylon. The concrete pylon looks like it’s going to be the base for overhead signs on I-94.

On the rebuilt section of I-94 north of Highway 142/S to Highway KR in Kenosha County, there are long stretches of roadway where there are no guardrails separating the expressway vehicle traffic from the east frontage road.

There are two short sections of guardrail, but only near those concrete sign pylons.

There are some concrete barriers placed on the sides of the roadway, but only near the overpasses, like at Highway KR.

Fix It contacted the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to ask about the guardrails, or lack thereof, on this section of roadway.

WisDOT responds: Michael Pyritz, WisDOT Southeast Region communications manager, wrote: “As to the question about the guard railing, the segment that was hit will be or might already be replaced. As to the remaining areas you asked about, we would not use guardrails in those types of locations. The purpose and use is to protect both the motorists and the permanent structures from direct impacts. Putting solid structures closer to the roadway would create a greater hazard than the one the guard rails would be protecting against. There are guidelines that help determine the safety improvement that comes from proper placement of guardrails (and) barrier walls. ... Factors and determination of placements are thoroughly analyzed during project design phases and decisions made that provide the safest most efficient roadways.”

Send your ideas our way: If you have an idea for a future Fix It, please send a note to Brian Passino at bpassino@kenoshanews.com or call him at 262-656-6280.

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