Starting Monday, people driving along US Highway 2 through Iron County can expect some lane and shoulder closures.
It’s the first stage in a four-stage process to build a roundabout at the interchange between highways US 2 and US 51.
Wisconsin Department of Transportation Project Manager Kai Kilen said there’s a couple issues with the current road conditions this project will fix.
“The existing interchange, the pavement was shoving a lot of signs of deterioration. The existing bridge is also deteriorating and in need of heavy maintenance,” said Kilen.
There’s a couple reasons the DOT went with a roundabout. It would reduce long-term costs because DOT would no longer have to maintain a bridge.
Roundabouts are also a safer option.
“It does reduce the severity of crashes by eliminating the right-angle crash,” said Kilen.
Construction will last all summer and into the fall.
Contractors first need to build a temporary route to redirect traffic when it comes time to take down the bridge and build the roundabout.
“There will be a T intersection there with a stop sign at Highway 51. That will be there throughout construction. As construction progresses, Highway 2 will have one lane open in each direction, but the lanes that are open are going to shift around a little bit,” said Kilen. “People are going to have to be careful and pay attention and look for some changes in our traffic patterns.”
Construction is scheduled to wrap up by the end of October.