ATV/UTV Road Across Wisconsin River Heads For Approval
BOSCOBEL – A highly anticipated ATV/UTV route from Crawford County to the town of Boscobel is nearing approval. The route will follow Highway 60 from the Crawford County Highway E intersection to the intersection with Highway 61, then along Highway 61 across the Wisconsin River Bridge.
The Town of Boscobel held a meeting with Department of Transportation (DOT) employee Steve Flottmeyer to discuss the steps needed to make the route a reality on January 12. The meeting was also attended by Crawford County Highways Commissioner Kyle Kozelka and State Representative Travis Tranel.
“The City of Boscobel has requested DOT permission to use a section of Highway 60 in Crawford County and Highway 61 across the bridge over the Wisconsin River, as a route for traffic ATV/UTV,” Flottmeyer said. “For DOT to approve this use, a municipality on either side of the bridge would have to pass an ordinance approving the use.”
At its January 17 meeting, the Boscobel City Council approved a resolution asking the DOT to approve the use of ATVs/UTVs on the Highway 61 North Bridge crossing the Wisconsin River at Boscobel, per Chapter 7.165 of the municipal code of the town of Boscobel.
According to Marietta Township Clerk Clifford Monroe, the city council passed a resolution supporting the route at a meeting in 2020 and is currently working with the DOT to secure their support for the project.
Kozelka said Crawford County will need to amend its ordinance to include the approved ATV route along Highway 60. The City of Marietta has adopted the Crawford County ATV/UTV ordinance as a municipal ordinance, so when the Crawford County makes the change to include their route, this will also change Marietta’s ordinance.
“I expect we can draft a memorandum of understanding (MOA) between the state and municipalities by March, which will hopefully allow the new trail to be marked and operational from by April,” Flottmeyer said.
Flottmeyer explained that after the MOA is established, an ATV route order will be developed. The route order will refer to the MOA. Once the route order has been approved, he said, that constitutes WisDOT’s approval of the route designation by the local government unit. The local governments unit then applies for an ATV signal permit. Once the ATV route signs are in place, the route is legal for ATV use.
“The local Grant County ATV Club has signs in their inventory and want to know if they would meet WisDOT compliance,” Flottmeyer said. “We will check with our signing team and let you know.”
ATV/UTV riders traveling on state highways are required to exit the highway on a designated ATV/UTV road in the municipality at the earliest opportunity. In the case of the route from the bridge crossing the Wisconsin River along Highway 60 westbound, drivers would be required to exit 60 at the Crawford County Highway E intersection.
“ATV/UTV drivers operating outside the posted route on Highway 60 will be operating illegally. Local clubs are doing a fantastic job of providing cards in hard copy and electronic format through their social media/websites; so we encourage all ATV/UTV operators to plan ahead, to ensure they operate on open roads and trails,” Kozelka said.
When operating their ATV/UTV on Highways 60 and 61, operators will be required to stay within the white fog lines marked at the side of the highways. Riding outside these lines is not permitted.
There was a discussion about what the speed limit would be for ATV/UTV traffic on Highways 60 and 61 along the approved route. Kozelka said on roads under Crawford County jurisdiction, the speed limit is 35 miles per hour (mph). He said, however, that the county ordinance does not apply to state or federal highways. The Grant County ATV/UTV Ordinance states that “No ATV/UTV shall be operated faster than the posted speed limits”. Molzof said all city streets are open to ATV/UTV traffic, with a 35 mph speed limit.
This means that ATV/UTV drivers traveling on Highways 60 or 61, along the approved route, are required to obey the posted speed limit of 55 mph along those sections.
Molzof asked Flottneyer if the DOT would consider lowering the speed limit on the bridge below 55. Flottmeyer said the DOT had conducted a traffic survey for that stretch of road which indicated 55 mph was the speed limit. correct there. For this reason, he said, the DOT would not consider a reduction in the speed limit.
“The reason to consider lowering the speed limit in this section would be that the city’s improvements to the boat landing will likely produce more traffic,” Boscobel Police Chief Jaden McCullick said. “I don’t think we would need to lower the speed limit for ATV/UTV traffic.”