DOT closes what neighbors call the ‘Stoughton Road death ramp’

MnDOT approves Winona bridge rehab work for nearly $39M

When the Wisconsin Department of Transportation opened temporary ramps on and off of Stoughton Road and Cottage Grove Road residents said it created a dangerous situation.

In a neighborhood blog known as, “Nextdoor Thread,” they took to calling it the death ramp because of accidents and near collisions that occurred.

The temporary ramps were needed while Stoughton Road is reconstructed in the area. The temporary ramps were scheduled to be used until the summer of 2016.

Following complaints, the DOT shut down the southbound ramp from Cottage Grove Road onto Stoughton Road.

“I’m hearing from my district and from folks in surrounding districts that the state of traffic in this particular intersection and this particular ramp is wholly unacceptable and inexcusably dangerous,” said Amanda Hall, Madison alder for the area.

Hall said she has driven the ramp in question.

“I have. I wouldn’t recommend it,” Hall said.

Residents said the lack of space to merge into oncoming traffic on Stoughton Road creates a dangerous situation.

“Going off onto Stoughton Road there really isn’t any merge. You’re just there,” area resident Mary Schuldies said.

Schuldies said her worries grow when caring for her two grandchildren.

“I mean I’ve got the grandkids with me. If somebody would hit me, that’s my first concern is the grandkids,” Schuldies said.

A spokesperson for the DOT said they are waiting to get an update from the project team.

“In response to input from motorists regarding safe access to US 51 (Stoughton Road) in the work zone at the Cottage Grove Road interchange, the ramp to southbound Stoughton Road from Cottage Grove Road has been closed until further notice,” the spokesperson said in an email to News 3. “DOT staff are reviewing possible alternatives to address the current merge conditions.”

Officials said alternate routes must be used to access southbound Stoughton Road from Cottage Grove Road.

“People are very concerned for their safety, for the safety of those folks who might be visiting them as we approach the holiday season who aren’t familiar with the state of the ramps as they are. They are also rightfully concerned about what happens to the safety of these ramps once we move into winter weather and there’s even a little bit of slipperiness in the form of ice, snow, sleet or anything else that Wisconsin winters are throwing our way,” Hall said.

The project is replacing the southbound bridge and resurfacing the northbound span, DOT officials said. The $13 million project began in April and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2016.