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Rainy fall delays end date for Highway 17 and 8 road construction projects

Katie Thoresen

As winter inches closer, road construction crews are facing tight deadlines to get work done while they can.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has been overseeing the projects on Highways 17 and 8 near Rhinelander.

Highway 17 in Rhinelander has been under construction since April.

It’s Wisconsin DOT Project Manager Nick Vos’s longest-running project this year.

“It was a big project with a lot of work with a roadway that really needed it,” said Vos.

The Highway 17 project was originally scheduled to wrap up at the end of October, but with the wet fall weather, it’s looking like it will be another week or two before the lanes reopen.

The biggest thing still needed is all the final pavement markings.

It’s a similar story for Highway 8 where the asphalt wrapped up yesterday.

“The wet weather that we had kind of made things drag out a little longer than they needed to be. Then once you get to this time of the year, it's less daylight, less favorable temperatures because they have to be within certain air temperatures to get a good product,” said Vos. “As we move later into the year, the amount of work they can get done in a day gets less and less too so it's kind of a compounding thing which once you get later in the season.”

The Highway 8 project should be completely finished this year.

Some additional work will be needed on Highway 17 next spring.

Vos says there may be some temporary lane closures for that work, but it’s not expected to be anything major like this summer.

“Hopefully, it's with one year of inconvenience, one summer of inconvenience here. Hopefully, we’ve got a good pavement for many years to come here,” said Vos.

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