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Construction Detours Planned in Vilas County

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Vehicle detours are set for several Vilas County highways this summer and next summer according to a report to the Vilas County highway committee last week by highway commissioner Troy Schalinske.

Replacement of culverts on Highway M south of Boulder Junction over Allequash and Stevenson Creeks will close the highway for an estimated one month depending on the weather. Signed detours

will be on county and state highways since Schalinske indicated “only these can be officially used for detours” but admitted local town roads are usually open for travel.

The contract has been awarded to Pitlik & Wick for just over $600,000 and they have been requested to start the project after July. DNR has authorized $90,000 for this project.

Replacement of the Highway N bridge over Plum Creek west of Sayner in anticipated to be let for bids in December after final design plans are approved by the state. Dennis Mack of Cedar Corporation is completing the design.

“The width of the bridge will be increased to 32 feet and will have beam guards on the approaches,” Mack told the committee. “The project will be 450 feet from end to end with bids to be approved this December for next spring construction.”

Mack estimated construction will take up to 40 working days with the road closed. Signed detours will follow county and state highways.

A detour on Highway K west of Conover has been avoided with the increase in the bridge width over the Wisconsin River which will allow single lane access. The $1.5 million dollar project is expected to begin the first week in July. 

Other county highway projects

Highway K west of Conover will have road reconstruction from Highway 45 to West Buckatabon Road. Originally the work would have been for Highway 45 to East Buckatabon Road but the highway committee approved using excess Highway B bonding funds to extend the work.

“We have $437,000 in unspent funds from Highway B and the added distance to West Buckatabon Road on Highway K for reconstruction will use $326,000,” Schalinske said. “That will leave enough for us to do shoulder work on that stretch.”

Highway S redesign was explained by Kevin Meyer that includes about three miles from Highway K north to include a new route to eliminate a number of sharp curves.

“The road will remain open with construction anticipated in 2023 costing an estimated $3.5 million,” Meyer said, adding “the state share is 80% and the county share is 20%.”

Reconstruction of Highway B in downtown Presque Isle is expected to start the week of July 12 from Crab Lake Road to School Road.

Schalinske indicated several large projects are anticipated for 2023 in his road plan.

“I’m looking at Highway A complete reconstruction from Highway 17 to Forest County and includes

replacement of the culvert over the Deerskin River and reconstruction of Highway S north to Highway B.”

He indicated another five year bonding program may be sought for reconstruction of Highway K across the center of the county for 2025.

Finally, road stripping this summer will include county highways A, E, J, K, M, P, S, and W.

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