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Wisconsin Department of Transportation planning for 69 road construction projects this season in the Northcentral Region


The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has several major projects underway in the Northwoods.

One of the most heavily trafficked ones is on Highway 51 in Lincoln County.

Construction crews are paving the section between the Marathon County line to the County K exit in Merrill.

There will also be work done the Hwy 64 on-ramp and County K off-ramp.

The current lane closures are expected to stay in place until July 1.

“Unfortunately, we will have lane closures out there over the Memorial Day weekend. We are expecting some traffic backups, some congestions, or delays as individuals from the southern part of the state work their way up north to the recreational areas in the Rhinelander and Minocqua areas. But overall, the project is progressing very well and remains on track and on schedule to be wrapped up by early to mid-summer here,” said Jed Peters, DOT’s North Central Region Project Chief.

Other projects underway are Highway 8 in Forest County near the Oneida County border, Hwy 70 in Eagle River between County Road H to Hwy 45, and a culvert replacement on Highway 51 in Vilas County north of County Highway N.

There is also a lot of work planned for the Hwy 45 corridor from Antigo north through Vilas County.

If you’re travelling south this summer, there will be major construction in the Stevens Point and Plover areas on I-39 and Hwy 10.

There are 69 total DOT projects planned for this season in the North Central region costing about $180 million.

Peters says no matter where you’re encountering construction on your travels slow down and pay attention.

“One of the initiatives that we’re running at the Department of Transportation is our ‘Buckle Up, Phone Down’ initiative,” said Peters. “That really applies to the traveling in general, but particularly in the construction zones. Put the phones down, make sure you’re buckled up, pay attention and really make sure that you stay safe, that the workers stay safe and that those traveling around you are able to stay safe as well.”

Below is a round up from the DOT on the current construction projects in the Northcentral Region. You can learn more about future ones on the DOT’s website.

Adams County

Highway: WIS 23

Location: Columbia County line to the Marquette County line

Schedule: April 13 to July 8

Project ID: 6566-00-72

Anticipated work scheduled: No work is planned for the coming week. Crews will begin paving at Gulch Avenue the week of May 23rd.

Traffic impacts: None

Website: https://projects.511wi.gov/wis23adams/

Highway: WIS 82

Location: County B to the Marquette County line

Schedule: April 12, 2021 through May 2022

Project ID: 1430-01-87

Anticipated work schedule: Crews will be grading and placing topsoil and seed.

Traffic impacts: Motorists can expect flagging and lane closures.

Website: https://projects.511wi.gov/wis82-cth-b-marquette/

Forest County

Highway: US 8

Location: Oneida County line to Boulevard Avenue, Wolf River bridge (near Cole Road) and Peshtigo River bridge (near the intersection of US 8 and WIS 139)

Schedule: May 10 to Sept. 23

Project ID: 1590-18-61/62

Anticipated work scheduled: Crews will start grading for asphalt widening at the Peshtigo River, salvaging guardrail, working on temporary signal installation and placing temporary barriers.

Traffic impacts: Motorists can expect lane closures controlled by flagging.

Lincoln County

Highway: US 51

Location: Marathon County line to Lincoln County K (Exit 211) in Merrill

Schedule: Completion by Nov. 15

Project ID: 1176-22-72/73

Anticipated work scheduled: Asphalt crews plan on continuing paving US 51 up to WIS 64. In addition, paving also will begin at the Wisconsin River Bridge. Paving and grading crews also plan to mill, grade and pave the northbound WIS 64 on-ramp and the northbound County K off-ramp.

Traffic impacts:

  • Crews plan to close the northbound WIS 64 on-ramp and the northbound County K off-ramp from 5 a.m. Monday, May 16 through 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 18 for the ramp work.
  • US 51 is open to one lane of traffic in each direction on the southbound lanes from the Marathon County line to County K. Traffic is expected to stay in this configuration until July 1.

Website: https://projects.511wi.gov/us51nbsb/

Marathon County

Highway: WIS 153

Location: Rangeline Road to Water Street

Schedule: May 2 to Aug. 19

Project ID: 6370-01-73/75/76

Anticipated work scheduled: Crews will remove existing asphalt curb and gutter between Rangeline Road and Maple Road. Grading will begin and utility work in the same area will continue.

Traffic impacts: WIS 153 will be closed to through traffic and detoured using Rangeline Road and Main Street/County B until September.

Website: https://projects.511wi.gov/wis153/

Portage County

Highway: I-39/US 10/WIS 66

Location: US 10 bridge over I-39, southbound I-39 ramp to Wildwood Drive, Country Club Drive intersection, Stevens Point

Schedule: April 4, 2022 to May 26, 2023

Project IDs: 1166-06-75 / 6290-09-70 / 6290-09-71

Anticipated work scheduled:

  • I-39 north- and southbound
  • Crews will begin placing asphalt on the shoulders
  • US 10 median
  • Crews will continue constructing temporary median crossovers
  • Crews will install traffic control and safety devices to divert traffic from the west- to the eastbound lane.
  • Maple Bluff Road/Old Highway 18 intersection
  • Crews will install temporary traffic signals.

Traffic impacts:

  • East- and westbound US 10 lane closures will be in place from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. Wednesday, May 11 through Thursday, May 19, from Country Club Drive to Maple Bluff Road.
  • North- and southbound I-39 lane closures will be in place from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, May 18 and 19, from about a half mile on either side of the US 10 interchange.

Website: https://projects.511wi.gov/us10sp/

Highway: I-39

Location: Bridges over Portage County B and Wisconsin Central Railroad, Plover

Schedule: March 14 to June 2022

Project ID: 1166-12-89

Anticipated work scheduled: Crews will pour approaches for inside lanes of north- and southbound bridges over the railroad tracks; place topsoil, seed, fertilizer and erosion mat for disturbed areas; and install concrete flume and curb.

Traffic impacts:

  • I-39: A 60-mph speed limit is in place. North- and southbound inside lanes will be closed for work on bridges over County B and over the railroad tracks approximately two-tenths of a mile north of County B.
  • County B: Temporary single-lane closures for east- and westbound traffic under the I-39 bridges are expected. Starting June 6, the outside lanes in both directions will be closed 1,200 feet from the interstate on both sides.

Website: https://projects.511wi.gov/i39countyb/

Highway: Business 51 (Post Road)

Location: Springville Drive to Tommy’s Turnpike

Schedule: April 11 to November

Project ID: 6414-00-79

Anticipated work scheduled: Crews will continue the removal of old storm sewer and installation of new storm sewer between Springville Drive and Rainbow Drive.

Traffic impacts:

· North- and southbound Business 51 is reduced to a single lane in each direction from Plover Springs Drive to Tommy’s Turnpike.

· Traffic is shifted to the east side of the roadway in the existing northbound lanes.

· Patton Drive is closed at the intersection with Post Road.

· Springville Drive is closed at the west side intersection with Post Road.

· The sidewalk will remain open along the east side of Post Road from Plover Springs Drive to Porter Road.

Website: https://projects.511wi.gov/business51/

Price County

Highway: WIS 13, US 8


  • WIS 13, North Fork Flambeau River Bridge, Park Falls
  • WIS 13, South Fork Flambeau River Bridge, Fifield
  • WIS 13, Elk River Bridge, Phillips
  • US 8, Wisconsin Central RR Bridge, Prentice

Schedule: May 12, 2022 to June 16, 2023

Project ID: 1610-44-62/63/64

Project description:

  • North Fork Flambeau River Bridge
  • South Fork Flambeau River Bridge
  • Elk River Bridge
  • Wisconsin Central railroad bridge
  • The existing concrete deck overlays, guardrail and approach slabs will be replaced.
  • The existing concrete deck overlays, guardrail and approach slabs will be replaced.
  • The existing concrete deck overlay and bridge approach slabs will be replaced. One parapet also will be upgraded.
  • Crews will place a concrete overlay on the bridge deck and place a polymer overlay once the work is finished. Depending on the schedule and weather, the polymer overlay may be installed in 2023.

Anticipated work scheduled:

  • Elk River and Wisconsin Central bridge
  • Temporary signals will be placed, and the southbound lane will be closed.
  • Crews will work on the southbound sidewalk and bridge decks.

Traffic impacts:

  • Crews will maintain at least one lane of traffic with a minimum clear width of 16 feet on WIS 13 and 13 feet on US 8 at all times during construction

Vilas County

Highway: WIS 70

Location: County H to US 45, Eagle River

Schedule: May 2 to July 8

Project ID: 9080-14-72

Anticipated work scheduled: Crews will complete the curb and gutter replacement and work on placing asphalt for the curb and gutter the week of May 16 and finish placing asphalt for the curb and gutter the week of May 23.

Traffic impacts for next week: WIS 70 will remain open to one lane of traffic in each direction. Motorists can expect to encounter lane closures, flagging operations and daytime temporary lane shifts.

Website: https://projects.511wi.gov/wis70vilas/

Highway: US 51

Location: Trout River culvert replacement

Schedule: March 28 to July 25

Project ID: 1170-20-61

Anticipated work scheduled: Crews will work on pile driving and abutments at the culvert location. Crews will complete prep work for bridge deck construction.

Traffic impacts: US 51 is open. Motorists will encounter temporary signals and staged construction. A 12-foot width restriction is in place with posted advanced warnings at the intersection of US 51 and WIS 47 in Minocqua and at US 51 and WIS 47 in Manitowish.

Trout River access: A temporary, signed portage route to maintain access to the Trout River was established on April 28.

Waushara County

Highway: WIS 21

Location: 3rd Lane to Madison Street, Coloma

Schedule: May 2 to June 20

Project ID: 6170-00-73

Anticipated work scheduled: Crews will work on installing curb and gutter and placing concrete patches in the eastbound lane; place curb and gutter and install the ramp at County CH (North Front Street); and place concrete at the west end of the project.

Traffic impacts: Motorists will encounter temporary traffic signals on the east end of the project between North Front and North Linden streets. The outside lane will be closed from the northbound I-39 off-ramp to Madison Street.

Website: https://projects.511wi.gov/wis213rdtomadison/

Highway: Southbound I-39

Location: Cottonville Avenue to County O

Schedule: April 18 to Oct. 31

Project ID: 1166-07-79

Anticipated work scheduled: Crews will start removing pavement, patching base course and grading.

Traffic impacts: Motorists can expect left lane closures with a reduced speed limit of 55 mph and a maximum 12-foot width restriction. There is a 1.5-mile section with both lanes open between County C and Buttercup Avenue between the north and south single lane closures.

Website: https://projects.511wi.gov/i39wausharaco/

Highway: Southbound I-39

Location: Marquette County line to Cottonville Avenue

Schedule: April 18 to Aug. 5

Project ID: 1166-08-79

Anticipated work scheduled: Crews will complete pavement removals and base patching and continue pouring approach slabs.

Traffic impacts: Motorists can expect single-lane closures with a reduced speed limit of 55 mph and a 12-foot width restriction.

Website: https://projects.511wi.gov/i39sbwaushara/

Highway: WIS 22

Location: Marquette County line/County JJ in the town of Dakota to WIS 21 West/West Division Street in the city of Wautoma

Schedule: May 24, 2021 to May 17, 2022

Project ID: 6150-00-72

Anticipated work scheduled: Crews will be addressing ground settlement over a new culvert.

Traffic impacts: Motorists can expect flagging between County YY and 16th Drive on May 16 and May 17.

Website: https://projects.511wi.gov/wis22resurface/

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.