What's going on here? Workers preparing temporary lanes on Interstate

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Nico Savidge
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TOWN OF LA PRAIRIE—Orange barrels and heavy equipment are out in the median of Interstate 90/39 south of Janesville, part of early work to get the area ready for a large Interstate expansion project.

Crews are widening the southbound lanes of the Interstate temporarily, a project that began earlier this summer, said Steve Theisen of the state Department of Transportation.

The larger $826 million Interstate expansion project will force both directions of traffic to travel in the southbound side while construction is underway on northbound lanes.

That means crews need to widen the road to accommodate two lanes each for north- and southbound drivers, Theisen said.

Crews with backhoes and bulldozers will be moving earth and widening the Interstate until the project's scheduled completion date in November.

You might see the signs of construction driving on I-90/39 between Town Line Road and Shopiere Road in the town of La Prairie.

And you'll certainly notice it at night, when lane closures during less-heavy traffic hours help crews get more work done, Theisen said.

“When they're all in their beds and sleeping, the real big stuff (is happening),” he said.

Those closures happen between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. and haven't caused too many delays for drivers, Theisen said.

“So far, it's been going well with minimal backups or delays,” he said.

Crews from Rock Road Co. recently finished the first two-mile section of temporary widening, from the Highway 11 overpass to Town Line Road, Theisen said.

Temporary widening is moving along on schedule, he said.

The larger expansion project is set to officially begin in 2015 and eventually will widen the road to three lanes of traffic in each direction--and four lanes through Janesville--when complete in 2021.

If you want more information about the temporary widening and the larger I-90/39 expansion project, Theisen recommended visiting www.I39-90.wi.gov and signing up for email updates. You can also “Like” the project's Facebook page, “Wisconsin I-39/90 Project.”

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