Phase one of the Verona Road Project is complete, according to state traffic officials.
The progress made Friday marked the halfway point for the seven-year project, which started in 2013. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation started the project after safety and congestion concerns were raised; deteriorating infrastructure was also an issue.
Phase one of the project was split up into three segments: raising the Seminole Highway Bridge, constructing intersections and widening Verona Road.
In 2014, crews worked on Verona Road south of the Beltline. From 2015 to 2016, construction workers focused on the Beltline and the interchange nearby.
WisDot Construction Project Manager Chris Fredrick said a new configuration was added along Verona Road and the Madison Beltline.
It’s called a single-point interchange, and according to Fredrick, it’s only one of two in the state of Wisconsin.
"Pay attention to the signage and take time through the new configuration... it's going be a lot more open and there are going be some drivers that are unfamiliar with the area,” Fredrick said.
One hundred and forty million dollars was budgeted for the first phase of the project. Fredrick said that budget was met, and the project was completed on schedule.
In the spring of 2017, crews will plant trees along Verona Road and the Beltline.
Construction for the second phase of the project has already begun. Crews will continue working until it starts to snow.
Phase two includes more improvements to Verona Road and the construction of two interchanges at Williamsburg Way and County Road PD.
The second phase of the project will cost an estimated $140 million and is set to be completed in the fall of 2020.