'Long, Painful' Construction to Begin on Highway 33
DOT plans to expand highway to four lanes and add three roundabouts by December.
Motorists who travel along Highway 33 are going to be in for a "long, painful summer," a state Department of Transportation official said Monday.
But DOT project manager Gary Metzer added: "It’s going to be a great product when we’re done.”
Metzer made his remarks at an informational meeting on the Highway 33 project Monday at the Saukville Municipal Center.
The project calls for expanding the portion of Highway 33 from South Tower Street in Saukville to the Milwaukee River overflow bridge in Port Washington. The road will be widened to four lanes with a median and three roundabouts will be added.
Construction is set to begin at the end of this month, and the project will wrap up this time next year, according to Metzer.
Pete Duffek, a representative from Musson Brothers Inc., the company slated to be the contractor on the project, explained that the expansion of the road will take place in four stages over the next year.
The first step to widening the stretch of road is to create temporary lanes on which to divert traffic for the later steps of construction. Duffek also explained that during this first step, a section of County LL will be closed so workers can take down the bridge that crosses over Highway 33.
The second phase of construction involves tearing up the eastbound lanes on Highway 33 and reconstructing them, and in the third phase, the westbound lanes will be removed and replaced.
During this time, three roundabouts will also be constructed at the intersections of Highway 33 and County LL; Highway 33 and Northwoods Road; and Highway 33 and Market Street.
Metzer said after the third stage, set to conclude by Dec. 2, the roads and roundabouts will be drivable. However, firm dates for the individual stages cannot be determined as construction is subject to weather.
He explained the final stage of construction will take place in the spring of 2012 and will put the finishing touches on the project. During that phase, landscaping will be completed, lighting will be installed and a final coat of asphalt will be applied.
Additionally, a two-block section of Port View Road will be closed in order to replace the road as this stretch is not wide enough for temporary lanes. However, Metzer said by this time next year, all construction should be completed.
Until then, the DOT is trying to keep the project running as smoothly as possible for citizens. A detour for County LL will be set up next week in preparation for the project, and roads will be kept open.
Jeanne Marchant, the onsite manager for the project, said her goal is to keep businesses open during construction.
Although no exact dates can be determined for the construction process as “it’s less of a science and more of an art,” said Metzer, the DOT and the village of Saukville plan to keep residents up to date.
The DOT and the construction company will keep the village abreast on developments, and citizens can sign up for weekly updates via the village website.
In the meantime, the DOT asks for citizens’ patience during construction. Metzer acknowledged that a large construction project like this can be messy, but he asked citizens at the informational meeting to “be respectful and safe.”
He also reminded residents to slow down in construction zones and watch out for workers.