Oct. 14—JANESVILLE — Annoying traffic jams where Milton Avenue passes under Interstate 90/39 are temporary, a Department of Transportation spokesperson said Wednesday.
Only two of the three lanes of traffic are open in each direction at the underpass, and turning lanes are also closed, Steve Theisen of the DOT said.
The situation will get better when work is completed on the Kettering Street traffic signals at the end of next week and even better when lanes are opened and work is completed on the interchange, which is projected to be by the end of the month, Theisen said.
Theisen said the work requires traffic to travel on pavement that doesn't have traffic sensors, so the signal lights' timing is not what it should be.
Some fine tuning of the traffic signal timing will be needed once the lanes are operating as designed, and after that, Theisen predicted "a vast improvement from what you see out there today."
Weather could interfere with plans, but "we have all intentions to have it operational by Halloween," Theisen said.
The underpass is a novel kind of highway interchange, called a diverging diamond. The first of its kind built in Wisconsin goes over the Interstate at Avalon Road southeast of Janesville. The one at Highway 26 opened Aug. 31.
In a diverging diamond, traffic is diverted to the opposite side of the road, which allows exits and entries onto the Interstate without drivers having to worry about crossing in front of oncoming traffic. Traffic lights control the flow of traffic. The system is said to be much safer.
On Milton Avenue/Highway 26, the diverging diamond is between Morse and Kettering streets.