US 41 Project
November 30, 2012
Brown County -The US 41 Project pushes forward as yet another large scale operation is underway at the US 41 Interstate 43 interchange. Monday night, work started on removing the current loop ramps where I-43 meets Highway 41.
By 2017, the DOT plans to reconstruct the interchange with directional and tall, flyover ramps like those being built at the nearby Highway 29/41 interchange.
"A lot of people know it is a problem because they see it all the time -- trucks down in the ditches -- and it's a big problem so we're getting rid of that. We're getting rid of that issue," said Construction Project Manager Eric Gwidt.
Building on top of swamp land, the interchange will be built ten to 20 feet higher than where the roadway is now. The DOT says the environment played a major role in the planning process.
"That was a big challenge in the design phase. It presents unique environmental challenges out there. That was the main reason the bridges are much longer, because there was an agreement made because you have less impact when you have bridges," Gwidt said.
The plan includes four bridges. And because of that, the work will keep going even when the snow starts to fly.
"There pretty much won't be a winter shutdown on this job because of the amount of bridges. Usually bridge work is something that can happen through the winter," said Gwidt.
Project leaders tell Action 2 News drivers can expect major closures coming as soon as next spring.
"In the next two years here there are going to be some closures that are more long-term than we've seen in the past, where instead of just overnight closures they are going to be longer closures," said Gwidt.
Crews will spend four years constructing four bridges as they re-work the entire 41/43 interchange. While drivers will have to deal with more road work, project leaders say it will be worth it in the end.
"By having an expanded roadway, there are no delays, there are less accidents. You get from one place to another quicker, and that is a big thing for businesses," said Gwidt.
The US 41 Project began in Brown County back in 2010. Starting work on the 41/43 interchange is one of the final steps in construction plans that span nearly a decade.
"You'll have two big interchanges within a mile-and-a-half of each other. We went from having none of these in Green Bay to having two of them," said Gwidt. Project leaders say once this project is complete it will be a major milestone for the Green Bay area. "Really four years you think oh my gosh that's a lot of time, but to do this amount of work it is a pretty tight time frame."