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RoundaboutA roundabout that had been approved to go in at the intersection of Douglas Avenue and Hamilton Street, and at Main Street to Goold Avenue is expected to be rescinded at the Racine common council meeting on Tuesday night.

The increased cost of acquiring the land near intersections has three billboards, Mayor John Dickert is recommending pulling the plug on putting in the roundabout because the original cost of acquiring the property those billboards has ballooned to $400,000.

“I don’t feel comfortable with the project anymore and we agreed to bring this back to the common council to ask them to rescind it,” Dickert said.

Originally the city’s portion of cost of the roundabout would have been about $265,000

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said in a memo in January that the project wasn’t warranted and the state wouldn’t pay for the roundabout project, but the common council moved forward with the project.

“If it would have come to a tie, I would have voted against the project then,” Dickert said. “But we also listened to the public on this. They just don’t want it.”

For the short-term, nothing will be done with the intersection as the Douglas Avenue corridor between State and Gould Avenue is slated for a land use study much like the one that has been done on Racine’s uptown neighborhood.

“The message I’m getting from the community is that this area should be one of our greatest priorities and we should we re-evaluate it,” Dickert said.

He’d like to see the design go back to being a four-way stop, but those plans should be part of an overall plan for Douglas Avenue.

Common council member Ed Diehl agrees. He voted against the project the first time.

“I think we need to start being a little more creative in our thinking in how to use our funds,” Diehl said. “Other discussions needed to take place. We need to start talking about driving more business and people to move here. We also need to start talking more about connectivity.”

The common council is expected to take up the matter at its meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 3 at Racine City Hall, 730 Washington Ave.

Editor’s note: the date of the common council meeting has been corrected.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.