ROTHSCHILD, Wis. (WSAU) - There’s a little over a month left of road construction season. Crews are busy trying to complete several projects before the snow flies.
One major project in the Wausau area has had a minor setback. The reconstruction of the southbound lanes of Interstate 39 crossing the Wisconsin River near Business Highway 51 in Rothschild is getting a little more work than planned.
Kristin McHugh from the Department of Transportation says the short stretch between the bridges over the river and Business 51 required additional work. “They detected a subgrade void. This would be beneath the basecourse and beneath what would be the pavement of roadway between Business 51 and the Wisconsin River that resulted in an isolated pavement collapse.”
The collapse of the pavement was not a public safety hazard since it happened on the closed section of roadway where they are already doing extensive reconstruction, including bridge decks.
McHugh says the minor setback will not delay the re-opening of I-39. “They’re going to reinforce the soil at that location before they do the final paving. Those lanes are scheduled to open in early November, as we had planned.”
Travelers through the I-39 southbound construction zone over the Wisconsin River and Business 51 should plan for a ramp closure next week. “The off ramp to Business 51 at exit 185 is scheduled to close next week. That would be Thursday, October 10th from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. so that the crews can complete that asphalt paving operation.”
McHugh says another project is nearing completion. That’s the repaving of Highway 153 near Elderon. “The 153 segment will be open as early as Friday, October 11th, and after they open 153 there in the Village of Elderon, then they’re going to start the reconstruction of the 49-153 intersection.”
McHugh reminds drivers to slow down near construction to help keep workers safe... and to keep from paying double fines in construction zones.