Big changes are coming to an intersection in De Pere. As Local 5’s Kris Schuller reports the changes will make for safer travel and open up a section of the city to development.
At the intersection of Main Avenue and Lawrence Drive in De Pere, nearly 20,000 vehicles pass through each day.
Now change is coming – another roundabout here on the city’s west side.
“It’s an area where we’ve had complaints in the past for some of the traffic movements out there, so a roundabout fits for us,” said De Pere City Engineer Eric Rakers.
Rankers says the existing intersection is awkward, with access to businesses like McDonald’s off of Main Avenue. The roundabout would include an extension of Lawrence Drive to the north with all business access moved here.
“We feel this will improve the intersection because again we are eliminating several direct access points on to Main,” said Rakers.
That Lawrence Drive extension north would also open up 20 acres of land northwest of the roundabout for development. Specifically, an Aldi that developer Garritt Bader says will start construction in the coming months.
“Property is only as valuable to the ability to use it and without this access it couldn’t be used and it would stay not as productive as it now will be,” said Bader.
Rakers says when the intersection closes for 60 days in mid-June, McDonald’s will close too and build a new facility.
“Relocating it slightly onto their lot which will fit the right-of-way we need for Lawrence Drive going to the north,” Rakers said. “It improves the traffic flow, makes the intersection safer and gives us some area to develop. So, we feel this as a win-win situation.”
Construction in the area should begin in April. The project will cost between $2 million and $2.5 million.