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Highway K Closed for New Bridge, Vilas County Road Project Updates

Ken Anderson

Vilas County highway commissioner Troy Schalinske provided an update on current projects on county trunk highways last week the most significant was immediately closing Highway K west at the bridge over the Wisconsin River that was scheduled for replacement.

Originally, the proposed replacement bridge was widened to allow single lane crossing during construction, but significant structural issues were discovered July 12 causing complete closure. The new bridge is expected to be completed October 29.

Credit Ken Anderson

“We will need to coordinate emergency services such as ambulance and fire with Conover, Plum Lake, and Land O’ Lakes,” Schalinske said. “This is a popular river route for canoes and kayaks, and we will be placing signs indicating the river is basically closed and going through this area is at their own risk.”

In other road projects, Schalinske said Highway K paving from Highway 45 to West Buckatabon Road has been completed with shouldering and matching driveway approaches to be done. Highway B in Presque Isle improvement has been started and should be completed September 10.

Road stripping on Highway K will be completed after bridge construction is complete. Farhner Asphalt has finished stripping the other county highways.

The Highway N bridge replacement over Plum Creek west of Sayner design study report has been submitted to the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation (WisDOT) for review and Highway S rural design preliminary plans have also been submitted to WisDOT for review. A part of Highway S will be moved slightly east to eliminate a number right hand turns with preliminary plans for adding camping sites along part of the abandoned road. The county received seven bids for the feasibility study and selected JT Engineering of Hobart who had the lowest bid of $1,200.

Highway M culvert replacement over Allequash and Stevenson creeks in south of Boulder Junction is scheduled to begin in Sept. causing road closure for about three weeks. 

One of the largest future road projects is expected to be Highway A in Phelps from Highway 17 to the Forest County line. A major water crossing, the Deerskin River, will need culvert replacement.

Depending on when federal funds are transferred to WisDOT will the final design be completed. The project is expected to be ready for bids in May, 2023.

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