Wausau's Grand Ave. construction project begins - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau's Grand Ave. construction project begins

WAUSAU (WAOW) -- One of Wausau's busiest streets is getting a makeover starting today. The $2.9 million construction project will resurface Grand Avenue.

"It will mean a new road surface, upgraded lighting and a bike lane," said Kristin McHugh, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

McHugh says Grand Avenue is heavily traveled, meaning there likely will be traffic delays as the four-lane road will be narrowed to one lane in each direction throughout the six-month project.

Access to the road will be limited unless drivers use intersections with traffic lights.

“At unsignaled intersections, we will only allow right in and right out access. Left turns will only be allowed at the signal lights," McHugh said.

Earlier this month, a meeting was held to inform neighbors about the project. Some of them say the improvements are needed, but say it's going to be an inconvenience.

The project will be completed in phases. Road crews will first resurface Grand Avenue between Kent Street and Division Street. They'll also be replacing lighting systems, make space for bikers and remove medians.

"It has to be fixed eventually, right now we're trying to get some additional life out of this pavement. We realize there's a lot of traffic but there's just stuff that needs to be done," said DOT project manager, Richard Simon.

State transportation officials say they want to minimize the impact as much as possible for drivers.

"Stage one goes from Kent Street to Townline or County N and the second job goes from Townline to Division, so we do the first half and stage one we'll do basically the outside lanes first than the inside lanes once that's 100 percent done than we'll switch and go to the North," said Simon.

During construction, one lane of traffic in each direction will stay open.

"There's definitely going to be some congestion we're going to do some minor adjustments with side roads we're going to close some of the side roads to minimize and reduce turning movements to help improve the flow," said Simon.

The entire project is expected to wrap up by October.

People also learned the road will have a temporary reduction in the speed limit during construction of 30 miles per hour.

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