Don't let road work detour your summer
Summer driving season is in full swing, and gas prices won’t be your only headache.
Crews are on the roads in Rock and Walworth counties, although rising road construction costs are delaying at least one project.
Rock County had to push to next year a County K resurfacing project to make up for increased costs on other projects, public works director Ben Coopman said.
“We knew there was going to be an increase (in materials) when we built our budget,” he said, “but when we took our bids in early April, they came in over what we assumed.”
He anticipated about a 10 percent increase in hot mix asphalt prices, but bids came in closer to 15 percent up, he said.
Here’s a look at projects motorists will encounter this summer. Just remember, plans are subject to change based on weather, contractor schedules, and—as the state Department of Transportation Web site indicates—“discovery of endangered species and unearthing archeological relics.”
-- Racine Street from Wright Road to Highway 14.
The state will rebuild the road with no added lanes or curb and gutter. A turn lane will be added at Wuthering Hills Drive. A detour will use Interstate 90/39 to Highway 14. The project will start in early June with completion in late July. Street lights also will be added at highways 11 and 14.
-- Rotamer Road just east of Wright Road to Town Hall Road.
The project is about 3,390 feet long. The country road will be replaced with a 48-foot-wide street, including curb and gutter, storm sewer and sidewalks.
The project will start in the coming days and be completed in early September. Traffic will be detoured using Wright Road, Highway 14 and Town Hall Road.
-- Wright Road from Milwaukee Street to Highway 14. The city will remove the pavement, fix the base and build it back up. The $440,000 project will start sometime after July 4 and be completed in early September.
-- Randall Avenue from Memorial Drive to Ruger Avenue. The street will be reconstructed, and some curb and gutter will be replaced. A detour will route traffic using Ruger Avenue, Lexington Drive and Mount Zion Avenue.
The $390,000 project is timed to avoid conflict with the Rock County 4-H Fair. The project is scheduled to start around June 9 and be complete by July 11.
-- Ruger Avenue from Garfield Avenue to Randall Avenue. Some exceptionally bad sections will be replaced and the rest will be resurfaced. The $71,500 project will start in late July.
-- Mount Zion Avenue from Milton Avenue to Sumac Drive. The street will be resurfaced, and some curb and gutter will be replaced. The $115,000 project will start in mid-July and be complete by the end of August.
-- Pontiac Drive from Holiday Drive to Highway 14. The street will be resurfaced and some curb and gutter will be replaced. Cost of the two-block section is $52,000, and work is under way. It should be complete by mid-June.
-- Garfield Avenue from Court Street to Memorial Drive. The street will be resurfaced, and some curb and gutter will be replaced. The $41,000 project will start in early August.
-- County H from Highway 14 to Highway 11 west of Janesville. The 5.5-mile stretch will be milled and resurfaced, and the bridge over Marsh Creek will be replaced. The bridge is about 70 years old. The new bridge will remain two lanes but will be wider.
The project is scheduled to start June 15 and run through the end of summer. The $1 million project is funded through the state and county. Traffic will be detoured using highways 11, 51 and 14.
-- County B from Highway 104 to Fromholtz Road. The 2-mile zone will be pulverized and covered with new asphalt during two weeks in late July or early August. The $400,000 project will not have a detour.
-- The county will try a pilot project on a half-mile section of County M northwest of Johnstown Center. The road is “so badly deteriorated” that the county will try using a man-made product to bridge the bad soils on a small stretch of the road. If it works, it might be used on the entire 17 miles next year, Coopman said.
The road was built with a bad base, so the hope is the new product will eliminate the need to excavate and put down new fill, he said. The $450,000 project will be done in late July or early August.
-- Highway 140 between Interstate 43 and Highway 67. The project is under way and has a detour using Highway 67, County C, County X, Highway 14 and I-43. The project is expected to be complete Aug. 28.
Walworth County Public Works Superintendent Mark Mullikin said the state has four road projects in the county this summer:
-- The intersection of highways 67 and 50 north of Williams Bay. Workers are adding turning lanes and signals. The project is under way and should be complete by the end of August. Traffic on Highway 67 will be uninterrupted, but Highway 50 traffic is rerouted using I-43 and Highway 12.
-- Highway 120 from Highway 36 to East Troy. An 8-mile stretch will be milled and repaved. The project will take about six weeks starting sometime in June, and it will remain open to traffic.
-- Burlington bypass work will close Spring Valley Road south of Highway 36 in eastern Walworth County for the summer. The road is open only to residents.
-- Highway 50 from Highway 67 to North Shore Road near Lake Lawn Resort will get a facelift with a new overlay of asphalt. The project is scheduled for sometime between June 2 and July 18. Traffic will remain open.
If you’re heading toward these locations using the state’s major highways, expect these projects:
-- Madison/Portage: In Dane County, I-90/94/39 will have single- and double-lane closures in both directions from Highway 30 to County V during overnight hours. The project is scheduled for completion Sept. 1.
-- Wausau/north woods: In Marathon County, a seven-year interchange project will close ramps and limit traffic on Interstate 39/Highway 51 and Highway 29. Log onto www.5129wausau.com for the latest closings.
-- To Eau Claire/Twin Cities: Traffic on Interstate 94 and Highway 121 in Jackson County will be restricted for a project scheduled to end July 2. Traffic periodically will be narrowed to one lane in each direction.
-- Milwaukee area: You can count down the months until this fall’s completion of the Marquette Interchange project, which is 88 percent complete. Log onto www.mchange.org for the latest closings.
-- Rockford, Ill.: Travelers on I-39 should expect lane restrictions in both directions for a project scheduled for completion Sept. 12.