Signs direct motorists around the Brown County GV reconstruction project in Bellevue, Tuesday, September 18, 2012. H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette / H. Marc Larson
A week and a half after construction crews closed a portion of Brown County GV, project organizers already are seeing a jump in progress.
Crews on Sept. 10 closed Brown County GV/Monroe Road between Brown County G, or Dickinson Road, in Ledgeview and Hoffman Road, just south of Wisconsin 172, in Bellevue. The closure was to help crews speed up construction, which was falling behind schedule because traffic driving through the work zone slowed progress.
“There was way more traffic in here than we anticipated,” said Steve Dantoin, project engineer with the Brown County Public Works Department. “People were taking advantage that they could get through even though (signs) said ‘Road closed, local traffic only.’
“Everybody was driving through here. ... It just made it way too dangerous.”
The road is scheduled to be closed until Sept. 28, but the closure could be extended another week depending on progress made on bridges.
So far, crews have taken advantage of the lack of traffic and are making progress, Dantoin said.
“It’s doing much better. Not having the traffic in here, we can actually move equipment around,” he said. “We’ve got the road milled. We’re getting the areas filled in where we have to get it filled in. We’re getting a lot better timing with the bridges without having to deal with traffic.”
The amount of traffic driving through the work zone prior to the closure was turning into a safety hazard, especially as construction necessitated traffic flow to jog back and forth, Dantoin said.
“To have the traffic figure out where they needed to go, it would have been way too dangerous,” he said. “By having it completely closed, it makes it a lot safer for the people working out here and the people that live here.”
It also was dangerous for drivers. Dantoin said he knew of only one accident in which a person was injured, but there have been multiple fender-benders in the work zone.
“There’s been a lot of close calls, people not paying attention,” he said. “We were getting a lot of barrels run over. There has been a couple of accidents out here.”
While the road is closed, traffic still can access businesses along Brown County GV. A detour also is posted, directing motorists to Webster Avenue using Dickinson and Hoffman roads.
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