County Trunk Highway H directly connects to US Hwy 151, just north of the Village of Kieler, in Grant County. With access to US 151, area residents and freight can travel south to Dubuque, Iowa or northeast to Platteville, Madison, and points beyond.
Traffic on CTH H has increased significantly in the approximately 15 years since US 151 was upgraded to a four-lane highway. The current traffic counts on CTH H average up to 2,100 vehicles a day. This traffic includes employees commuting to some of the county’s largest employers in Platteville and the surrounding area, heavy trucks, and agricultural equipment.
The southern portion of Grant County has some large flat areas, perfect for growing grain. Over the years, the equipment necessary to economically move crops to market has increased in length, width, and allowable weight. Higher traffic volume and heavier vehicles have contributed to the deterioration of the asphalt and rutting of CTH H’s surface.
CTH H needs an upgrade to promote new economic growth and support the economic development that has already occurred.
With the hopes of being able to address the deficiencies on CTH H sooner, the Grant County Highway Department submitted a project application to a grant program established in the 2019-21 state budget. The county proposed to smooth the ride and strengthen this 9.42-mile section of the roadway by pulverizing the existing asphalt, leaving it in place to reinforce the base, and adding 4.5 inches of asphalt pavement.
The $90 million grant program received applications totaling roughly $1.5 billion. Grant County communities received about $2 million in grant funds for local transportation projects. However, the Grant County Highway Department did not receive funding for CTH H.
“Unfortunately, Grant County has a lot of roads in the same condition as CTH H,” said Grant County Highway Commission David Lambert. “So, any opportunity to move a project forward is greatly appreciated.”
Grant County is responsible for more than 300 county highway miles. Each year, the county can afford to resurface about 8 miles. This fiscal constraint means the county can only repave a stretch of road about every 40 years, well beyond the surface’s useful life.
Without additional funding, CTH H, which could use improvement now, will have to wait. According to Lambert, the county may have funds to improve the road within the next 3 to 5 years.