Construction on the new roundabout begins June 10
by Lori C. Adler, Reporter
A public informational meeting about the construction of the new roundabout at the US Hwy 8 and Wis Hwy 47 intersection was held Wednesday at Rhinelander City Hall. The group, headed by Dan Erva, WisDOT Project Manager, presented the construction timeline and detour plans. They also answered questions from area residents and business owners. In addition, Erva assured that access to all businesses on the affected streets will be maintained throughout the entire construction process.
Construction of the single-lane roundabout will begin June 10. In addition to the new roundabout, the pavement area will be raised about two feet to help with drainage issues. The first step in the process is widening the shoulder on Kemp Street as well as the current slip (right turn) lanes of the intersection. Traffic will not be detoured at this time, though travelers may see some shoulder closures or flagging. A temporary signal at the intersection of Boyce Drive and Kemp Street will be installed to manage traffic once the detour begins.
Starting about mid-July, traffic will begin detouring around the construction area. The current slip lanes will be used for bi-directional traffic headed both directions. Northbound and southbound traffic will utilize Kemp Street and the northeastern slip lane, while eastbound and westbound traffic will utilize Boyce Drive and the southwest slip lane. In addition, West Prospect Street will be closed at Boyce Drive, and Riek Street will be closed at Kemp Street. Residents in the audience did inquire about other streets in the area, but it was explained that, while people will make their own decisions regarding ways to avoid the construction area, there are no plans to include any other streets as official detours. This is mainly due to the high volume of semi and log truck traffic that travel US 8 and Wis 47. The DOT does not want these heavy trucks traveling on city streets.
Construction will continue throughout the summer with detours ending sometime in September. At this point, traffic will begin using the new roundabout, and crews will turn their attention to the removal of the current slip lanes. The project is expected to be completely finished in October.