One of the largest gatherings each year in the Northwoods gets underway this Thursday near Rhinelander and local officials are hoping to alleviate traffic problems caused by road construction. Two large road projects, the makeover of Stevens St. from the downtown north, and the construction of a roundabout on the city's west side means detours for Hodag Country Fest attendees.
The festival can easily bring in more than 20,000 visitors, who find their way to the music grounds in the Town of Pine Lake.
Many attendees pull large campers. Oneida County Sheriff's Department Captain Tyler Young says it could be a challenge...
"...There's a lot of construction in the City of Rhinelander. We're trying to get people there in the safest most efficient way possible. They're driving a lot of big vehicles. Pick-up trucks pulling trailers, RV's. They're going to have a tough time navigating their way through Rhinelander on city streets not designed for such large vehicles..."
Captain Young says help is available online...
"...We worked with the DOT and Oneida Co. Highway Department to come up with some routes. That's posted on the Department of Transportation's webpage, the map is posted there. It can also be found on the Oneida County webpage the the Hodag Country Fest webpage as well."
Young says signs will be going up to help attendees find their way around to the festival site. He says the left turn light at Highway 17 and Stevens Street will be extended to allow for more traffic time to turn.