Highway 18 project in Grant County to begin in summer

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This map from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation shows the stretch of Highway 18 that will be resurfaced during the summer.

 

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Motorists on Highway 18 in the Prairie du Chien area are not done with construction zones just yet. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) is in the process of developing final plans to improve US 18, beginning just south of the Wisconsin River Bridge and continuing southeast to the US 18/WIS 35 intersection near Patch Grove. The project length is 6.3 miles.

“The project is milling off two inches of pavement and re-paving,” said Tim Maedke, DOT Project Manager, who noted that the project is not a continuation of the 2016 Highway 18-60 Project in the town of Bridgeport.

“There are no alignment changes or roadway expansions so it won’t resemble the recent project from Prairie du Chien to Bridgeport,” Maedke said. “It will look very similar to what is there now except for a new driving surface and the paved shoulders changing from the current three feet wide to five feet wide.” Along with the asphalt pavement, the guardrail will also be replaced.

Maedke said the funding for the project is a mixture of state and federal money. “Due to the bidding process, DOT estimates are confidential but I can say we expect bids to come in between $2.5 and $3.5 million,” he said.

The project is scheduled to be let for bids on May 14, and construction is expected to start around July 4 and take about two and a half months to complete. 

Also, no public meetings are expected. “Since it is a pretty basic resurfacing project with no real estate acquisitions, community involvement, or detoured traffic, we are not anticipating the need for a public meeting,” said Maedke. “Message boards will go up in advance of the project warning traffic of the upcoming construction. Information about the project will also be on the WisDOT website and the 511 site.”

The project will be constructed under traffic, said Maedke. Roadway flagging operations will control traffic throughout the construction process. Access to businesses and residences along the project route will be maintained except for limited periods of time during underground utility relocations and driveway improvements.

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