Project slated for 2020
By Robert Cloud
The eastbound U.S. Highway 10 bridge over County Trunk E south of Waupaca will be replaced in 2020.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) held a public input meeting Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Waupaca Area Public Library.
“There is extensive cracking throughout the surface of the bridge deck,” according to Andrew Casper, an engineer with the DOT.
He showed photos of concrete holes in the deck where rebar has been exposed.
Casper said the eastbound bridge was built in 1965.
There were projects to maintain the bridge in 1990 and 2014.
The westbound U.S. 10 bridge was built in 1996, when U.S. 10 in the Waupaca area was widened to a four-lane highway.
“Currently, there are not any structural issues with the bridge,” Casper said. “But five years from now, we may have to post weight limits.”
Casper said U.S. 10 is a major link between the Fox Valley and western Wisconsin.
According to a 2012 traffic count, U.S. 10 has an average daily traffic count of 19,500 vehicles.
Construction is tentatively scheduled from March through June 2020. However, the project could be moved ahead to 2019.
During the project, U.S. 10 will remain open to at least one lane of traffic in each direction.
Temporary median crossovers will shift eastbound traffic onto the westbound bridge.
The Churchill Street on-ramp to westbound U.S. 10 will be closed from Memorial Day to July 4.
The project will completely close County E under the bridge for five months.
Mark Steidl, an engineer with the DOT, said County E must be closed due to safety reasons and to allow the work to be completed more quickly.
Motorists going north on County E to Waupaca could take an alternative route via Crystal Road, to County K and State Highway 22, Steidl said.
He said the DOT does not plan to post detour signs at County E on either side of the bridge.
Kathy Nickel, who rents farmland south of U.S. 10 off of County E, told Steidl she is concerned visitors to the area, especially those looking for Rustic Woods, will come all the way to the bridge, then have to turn large campers around.
Steidl said he would discuss detour signage with the county highway department.