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Wisconsin DOT has 40 new projects to improve road infrastructures

Story By Meghan Mamlock
Local News Published 04/19/2021 5:51PM, Last Updated 04/20/2021 6:27PM
Rhinelander - As the temperatures warm up we begin to see what shape the roads are in.

Jed Peters, Project Development Chief, at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation spoke about the 40 projects on the state and US highway systems equaling about 101 million dollars worth of infrastructure investment for the North Central part of the state.

"We're actually working on what's called a 6 year program. We're looking out over the next 6 years to identify where the highest needed most priority treatments or projects are required," said Peters.

In addition, they have 16 local road projects that they partner with municipalities on with a budget of about 15 million dollars between those 16 projects.

Lincoln County will have a $13 -$14 million dollar project on improving asphalt, base materials, new guardrails, and minor grading at median crossovers among other aspects. 

"A lot of the projects are resurfacing efforts, so what we'll do is well take the uppermost layers of the pavement off of the asphalt, put a new layer on there and really what that's doing is it's allowing us to extend the life of that highway," said Peters.

Here in the Northwoods, we have our winter weather to thank for some of our roads being in tough shape. 

"For this area by and large the most wear and tear is caused by the freeze thaw cycle really by the weather. That water gets into our pavements, into our bridges, freezes and expands and really deteriorates those materials," said Peters.

And it is not just the roads that are getting attention.

The WisDOT also works on structures like bridges, including the replacement of the expansion joints on a bridge in Marathon County, set to begin in June.

All of the projects can be found here and there is even a weekly update people can use to learn more about road closures.

"The bulk of our process that goes into designing and planning for a project is going out getting the publics input, getting feedback from the motorists from the local officials working with the regulatory agencies," said Peters.

They also take accidents that occur in the area into account of what they can do to improve the safety in the future for the motorists.

"We are able to pull that information as were coming through the project to find areas that may have higher concern than another area. Identify  those spot safety concerns," said Peters.

If you have a concern about a road you are encouraged to contact one of the WisDOT regional offices.
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