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Bridge upgrade, intersection revamps on 2007 DOT slate

Holdovers from 2006 jobs dominate an otherwise light road project schedule planned this year in the Pierce County area by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Eau Claire office.

"We're taking a breather over there," DOT Project Development Supervisor Paul Conlin said Thursday about the relatively few major undertakings in 2007 for both Pierce and St. Croix counties.

At the top of Conlin's Pierce list is continuing rehabilitation of the Hwy. 10 Bridge over the St. Croix River at Prescott. He said the work began in November, involving upgrades to the bridge's electrical and hydraulic systems. The span was built in 1990 and these systems were designed in the early-to-late 1980s.

"The technology has changed a lot since then," he said, explaining they haven't worn out, but their replacements should perform better in raising and lowering the bridge.

The main impact is on river traffic, Conlin said. The bridge will again be fully operational by April 1, with entire project completion set for May 1, in time for the boating season. Lunda Construction of Black River Falls was awarded the contract for the job.

Two intersections of state and county highways will get attention in '07, the DOT supervisor said. The corner of Hwy. 10-63 and CTH C on Ellsworth's east side and the corner of Hwy. 65 and CTH O south of River Falls will receive safety improvements.

In both cases, the intersections will be "squared up," meaning they'll meet at more of a 90-degree angle, he said. Turn lanes will be installed on 10-63 and 65 where they intersect with these county roads, too. The county highway department is to handle the upgrades on a timetable to be announced. He believed both jobs can be done under traffic.