WI-172 roadwork to begin

Ugh.

The 2010 edition of the Wisconsin 172 reconstruction headache is about to begin.

Preliminary work will start Feb. 1, with the ramps from the U.S. 41 northbound lane and Vanderperren Way set to close for six months beginning Feb. 2.

Five and a half miles of Wisconsin 172’s eastbound lanes from U.S. 41 to Interstate 43 are being rebuilt as part of a $38 million project that began with similar work on the westbound lanes last year.

“Barring bad weather, the contractors will begin (Feb. 1) to paint temporary lane lines and set concrete barriers to get the bridge and approaches ready to switch traffic,” Steve Noel, project manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation‘s Northeast Region, said Thursday.

As they were last year, the north loop from Riverside Drive to westbound Wisconsin 172 and the south connector from Riverside Drive to Webster Avenue will close for the duration of the project. The Webster Street ramp to westbound Wisconsin 172 will close for a few days and then reopen.

Limited lanes will be open both ways on Feb. 1.

Eventually, there will be two lanes open westbound and one lane open eastbound until the project is completed.

The headache could be worse this year.

Although the schedule is expected to mirror the 2009 timeline, the impact could be greater because of the closure of the Vanderperren Way ramp, where an estimated 15,200 vehicles enter Wisconsin 172 daily. The state estimates that about 85,000 vehicles use Wisconsin 172 daily.

As it was in 2009, Oneida Street traffic will be detoured when reconstruction of the bridge over the street begins in March, and then will be reopened when the work is finished.

A big difference this year is the shutdown of Ashland Avenue — set to begin in May — when construction of a roundabout at its intersection with Ninth Street begins.

The project likely will again put pressure on the Claude Allouez Bridge in De Pere. The state will detour northbound U.S. 41 traffic that normally takes Wisconsin 172 across the Fox River to I-43 on the northwest corner of Green Bay. (Source: Green Bay Press Gazette)

Let the fun begin.  And make sure you know the alternatives to the DOT’s published detours.

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