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Several big road projects underway starting Monday


WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) -  Now that it’s starting to look like spring, it’s time to start looking for orange barrels.

Department of Transportation spokesperson Kristin McHugh says several big projects will be seeing a lot more activity now.

In the Wausau area, the Highways U, K, and 51 interchange work will start with some night time delays while the Highway U overpass is torn down. “Crews are going to remove the County U overpass that goes over Highway 51 and that will include some night time closures of the freeway and some possible daytime lane closures.”

The Highway U bridge replacement will affect local traffic, but should have little effect on freeway traffic outside of the overnight delays. “Once the bridge closes to traffic, it will be shut down for six months. Local traffic will be detoured via Westwood Drive and Bridge Street.” McHugh adds, “With this particular project, the very first stages, the bulk of the impacts are going to be on local traffic.”

Removing the old “U” bridge is expected to take a couple of weeks.

The 28-million dollar project will see work primarily on the local roads this summer, with freeway lanes getting additional reconstruction in 2014.

In about two weeks, motorists can expect to see bridge improvement work begin at I-39 and Marathon County Highway C and at Locker Road. Crews have already removed most of the deck on the Highway 34 overpass in I-39 near Knowlton.

Highway 29 work between Wausau and Marathon City resumes, as the old center turn lane is replaced by a safety barrier median. Highway O will also be realigned with a new interchange constructed on 29.

In Wood County, the Highway 13 and 73 intersection plus realignment of Highway 73 is slated to begin yet this month.

McHugh reminds us to slow down in work zones. “There are speed limit changes in the work zones, down to 55 miles per hour, so people need to pay attention to speed zones and remember that fines double.”