Rothschild police help guide traffic during biomass construction - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Rothschild police help guide traffic during biomass construction

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ROTHSCHILD (WAOW) -- Construction on the Rothschild biomass plant started back in June, but on Thursday people saw some of the first signs of work. Officers from the Rothschild Police Department made sure the streets stayed safe.

Traffic usually moves pretty steadily along Business Highway 51 in Rothschild. But with the constant stream of cement trucks flowing into the biomass site, project leaders called in the Rothschild PD for reinforcement.

"The amount of traffic that's on Business Highway 51 as well as the side streets just for the congestion and the safety of the trucks getting in and out of the property," said Rothschild Police Department Detective Sergeant Kevin Ostrowski.

Leaders at We Energies and Domtar have been working together on the project. With their DNR permit in place, business leaders said they've already gotten a good start.

"We've actually had construction going on in the site since late June and we've had a lot of prep work," said We Energies spokesperson Brian Manthey. "This is probably the largest activity that has occurred on the site since we began a couple of months ago."

Manthey said laying cement for the boiler is a delicate process -- one that requires a steady supply of materials. That's just one of the reasons why he said it was so important to make sure there weren't any bumps along the way.

"Everything was smooth," said Ostrowski. "When the officer did stop traffic, everyone did stop and there were no close calls of any type, no accidents or anything that would hold up traffic for a period of time."

This marks one of the first times people in the area have seen major work done on the project. But We Energies leaders said it won't be the last.

"As we start to put the structural steel into the ground and start to form some of the buildings, that's where people might start to see if they are driving by if they're close by the plant," said Manthey.

Those trucks brought in 1,700 cubic yards of cement. That's enough to pave about 340 driveways. Project leaders said they want to have the plant completed by 2013.

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