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Highway 29 in Brown County will see the region's first J-turn


HOBART, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says a new turn will become a safer way for drivers to cross busy divided multi-lane highways.

It's called a J-turn, and it's coming to Highway 29 and County VV in Brown County. The J-turn is one phase of the $12-$17 million Highway 29 reconstruction project.

From 2006 to 2009, there were 68 vehicle crashes at intersections along Highway 29 from Green Bay west to the Brown County line. 

The DOT hopes this new design at one of those intersections will help reduce that number.

At the intersection of Highway 29 and County VV, Matthew Nurczyk says he's had plenty of close calls.

“I've nearly gotten hit a couple times in the last four months. People just not watching what they're doing, trying to beat the traffic, not paying attention,” Nurczyk told FOX 11.

The DOT says in a four-year stretch, there have been 26 crashes at the intersection. Construction on a J-turn begins next month.

The DOT provided video to show how it works. Traffic from the side roads is restricted. Vehicles will no longer be able to directly cross Highway 29.

“We would not allow left turns from County VV, Milltown, and Marley, onto Highway 29. However we would still allow the movement, and left turns from Highway 29 onto those side streets,” Jeremy Ashauer, DOT project manager, tells FOX 11.

Vehicles will have to make right turns onto Highway 29.

“We restrict the access at the intersection itself; however, we have a U-turn area about a quarter mile down the road on Highway 29 that allows the opportunity for drivers to change direction,” said Ashauer.

Ashauer says eliminating traffic through the median will lead to fewer crashes. 

The DOT says in the year since a J-turn was constructed in Northwest Wisconsin, crashes went from an average of four a year, to zero.