BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin Highway 172 construction project is officially underway, and while it will ultimately improve the roads, current conditions are proving to be a nuisance for drivers.
The project includes repaving roads, reconstructing ramps, and improving beam guards.
The majority of construction will be done overnight, with the exception of the overlay repair between the Austin Straubel International Airport and Interstate 41.
Wisconsin Department of Transportation Project Engineer Jason Guerts says, “We want to avoid future maintenance costs and with the smoother surface, that avoids future maintenance and potholes that are created from bouncing vehicles.”
While the construction will ultimately improve the quality of life for drivers down the road, for semi-truck drivers, construction like this can be an inconvenience.
Paul Bascombe transports cattle for a living, and he says, “When I’m loaded with cows, it gets difficult sometimes because we can’t hit the brakes very hard or we start pushing the animals around, and they could get hurt. We have to back off more, go a lot slower, and it sometimes puts us behind.”
Tim Hill has been driving a semi for 35 years. Even though he has driven through many work zones, he says it still can be a pain.
“I will look for tail lights or brake lights at least 3 or 4 cars up in front of me. You have to try to keep your safe, following distance, but it’s next to impossible when the little cars keep shooting in front of you. You just have to be careful and watch out for everybody,” Hill says.
And that is precisely what Guerts advises.
He says, “In the locations where there is barrier wall, there’s lane weaving, which is temporary, but will be ongoing for several weeks. They’ll be an added element of visible construction operations during the day, which a lot of motorists have not yet seen, so really pay attention to their driving path and the vehicles in front of and around them to make sure they are getting through the work zone safely.”
The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of October.