Improvements at the intersection of State Highway 54 and County Trunk QQ are set to begin in the city of Waupaca.
The project was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Sept. 2, and is to be completed by November.
Highway 54 and County QQ will remain open to traffic during construction.
“The construction zone will be 25 mph,” John Edlebeck, the city’s director of public works, said during an Aug. 27 informational meeting at City Hall.
The ramps to and from U.S. Highway 10 will also be monitored, he said.
Safety improvements are being made to this intersection due to the high number of rear-end and angle crashes at it.
Data from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation shows that from 2007 to 2011, there were 35 crashes at the intersection.
There were injuries in 11 of the accidents and property damage in 24 of them.
The improvements at the intersection will include:
• Designating the State Highway 54 eastbound through lane as an exclusive right-turn onto County Trunk QQ by adding an island and extending an existing island.
• Widening the right-turn lane off of State 54 (eastbound) onto County QQ, which requires replacing an inlet and lengthening storm sewer.
• Replacing existing traffic signal loop detectors and replacing/adding traffic signals.
The $351,000 project will be paid for with a combination of federal and state transportation funds.
Sommers Construction Co. Inc., of Shiocton, will do the improvements.
Dave McKewin, of Sommers Construction, said the project will be split into four stages and will begin at the right turn lane coming off of Grand Seasons Drive.
The intersection will remain open to traffic throughout construction.
However, Grand Seasons Drive will be closed to truck traffic for about two weeks.
“The biggest problem will be semis coming out, wanting to turn right onto 54 to get to Plover,” he said.
Jim Klismet owns Waupaca Mobil Travel Center at that corner and said truck drivers will be told to use the business’ second driveway to access State 54.
McKewin said that side of the intersection is expected to be completed by Sept. 20.
“Then, we will switch to the other side,” he said.
Motorists can expect to encounter single lane closures during the project, with minimal delays.
Informational meetings about the project are scheduled to take place every two weeks.
The next one will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10, in the council chambers at City Hall.
All of the informational meetings will be held at the same time and location, as long as there is interest, said Bob Buerger, of AECOM, in Stevens Point.
The DOT selected AECOM to run the project.
“There will be people who will be confused, because something is changing,” Buerger said. “We will try to help with the confusion as much as we can. We have to keep the public and workers safe.”
In addition to data about the number of accidents at the intersection, traffic counts show traffic is expected to increase at Highway 54 and County QQ.
Traffic counts for the intersection show the annual average daily traffic on State 54 (west of County QQ) was 6,100 in 2012. It was projected to be 6,200 this year and is projected to be 6,800 in 2024 and 7,400 in 2034.
The annual average daily traffic on State 54 (east of County QQ) was 12,800 in 2012 and was projected to be 13,000 this year. It is projected to be 14,200 in 2024 and 15,400 in 2034.
On County Trunk QQ, the annual average daily traffic was 7,950 in 2012 and was projected to be 8,800 this year. It is projected to be 8,900 in 2024 and 9,600 in 2034.