Rhinelander’s new roundabout opens for business soon
By Lori Adler, reporter
While construction on the new roundabout at the U.S. 8 and Hwy 47 intersection in Rhinelander won’t be completed until October, traffic will begin using the roundabout in about two weeks.
During a public information meeting Wednesday, Dan Erva, Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) project manager, presented an update on the project thus far and explained what remains to be completed. While slip lanes and other parts of the roundabout will still be under construction, Erva said traffic will be routed through the new roundabout beginning the week of August 19.
“The big reason we called the meeting here was to notify everybody of the stage change that will be happening the week of August 19,” Erva explains, “and that’s when traffic will actually start using the center circle of the roundabout so there will be a shift in traffic patterns.”
Also beginning the week of August 19, U.S. 8 will be closed between the roundabout and the bridge while construction in that area takes place, though this closure is only expected to last a couple of weeks and should be completed by the first week of September.
According the Erva, the project has been going well so far with no unexpected issues, and the roundabout construction is both in budget and on schedule. Construction of the roundabout and all aspects of the U.S. 8 and Hwy. 47 intersection are expected to be completed by October 18.
Navigating the new roundabout is a fairly simple process, but Erva offers this advice to motorists, “Go slow, pay attention, be safe, stay off the cell phone, and obviously, yield to traffic in the circle as you are coming into it.”
WisDOT does provide some guidelines for those who may be nervous about the new intersection. There is a website to visit which contains not only updates on the construction and any closures, but also provides videos, brochures and other links on roundabout safety. The site contains valuable information and helpful tips. https://projects.511wi.gov/us8wis47int/