Traffic troubles plague Niagara, Wisc. construction projects


NIAGARA, Wisc. (WJMN) – A reconstruction and resurfacing project started this week on US 141 in the city of Niagara. It is projected to last until September. After just a few days of work, police are already noticing problems.

The project closed US 141 between Betters Court and County Road N. to thru traffic from May 4 to August 21. The detour take drivers on US 2 and 8 through Norway, Mich.

Niagara Police Chief Angie Moreau says they are already seeing issues with motorists not following the detour and disregarding the road closed signs. Chief Moreau said she has noticed the congestion the project is already causing and is concerned about backup and other issues throughout the Summer.

The construction is being done through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Brown County Project Manager Andrew Fulcer, P.E. released the following statement, addressing the construction project:

USH 141 in Niagara between Betters Court and 4th Street is closed to through traffic. Local traffic is allowed through the work zone. Local traffic for this project, as defined by the Niagara police department, are residents of the city of Niagara or anyone with a destination within the work zone. During the first stage of the project between Hill Street and 4th Street, USH 141 is reduced to one lane for the purpose of allowing emergency vehicles through the work zone, as well as any city residents that need to get to the north side of the city or residents and/or deliveries to access businesses within the work zone. Any non-local traffic or through traffic traveling through the work zone is subject to a citation from law enforcement. As far as the type of citation or amount of that fine, that is a question for the Niagara police department. There is detour signage and traffic control in place in advance of the work zone, so we are doing what we can to encourage traffic to utilize the detour. We understand the frustration with having to travel the length of the detour as the alternate route, and we are trying to minimize inconvenience to the traveling public, especially the residents of Niagara, as much as possible. We’d also like to point out that WisDOT detours are set up for the protection of workers, property owners and the traveling public. Disregarding detour signage or road closed signage puts lives at risk.

The following description and timeline of the project comes from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Description of work: There are two projects, constructed concurrently, in the project work zone. A complete reconstruction of US141 will take place between Pine Street and 4th Street. Reconstruction includes replacing existing roadway pavement with 32’ width of asphalt, replacing the curb and gutter, existing sidewalk, crosswalks, and curb ramps, realigning the Vine Street intersection to be 90-degree angle to US 141, and replacing the storm sewer system. The resurfacing project between Betters Court and Pine Street includes milling, asphalt pavement, and pavement marking.

May 4 to May 8: Set up detour route and remaining construction traffic control. Contractor began removals along the northbound side of US 141 between Hill Street and 4th Street, stripped topsoil, and started storm sewer installation.

May 11 to May 15: Continue with removals and storm sewer placement, remove old storm sewer pipes, grade for subgrade, place road gravel, and grade for sidewalks and curbs.

Traffic Impacts: US 141 between Betters Court and County Road N will be CLOSED to thru traffic May 4 to August 21. Local access to business and properties and emergency access will be maintained. Any work after August 21 will be constructed using flagging operations. Intersections between Main Street and the paper mill, and the Tyler Road intersection, will be staged to continue side road access to the highway during construction. Other side roads in the reconstruction project area (Pine St. to 4th St.) will have alternate access points to US 141, and construction will be staged for alternate access to those intersection. Short-term driveway closures will be necessary during parts of the construction process. The contractor will contact homeowners and businesses in advance before closing a driveway. Sidewalk closures and/or a “sidewalk detour” will be in place to direct pedestrians to alternate routes during construction.

Detour: US 2 and US 8

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