Hot, dry weather push road projects forward

Construction projects are ahead of schedule
Hot, dry weather push road projects forward

It’s the season for traffic projects, and this summer is no exception. There are a number of road work sites in and around Madison, and the drought has actually helped crews work ahead of schedule.

University Avenue is one of the spots where construction continues to dominate the street. By Halloween, there is scheduled to be two lanes on both sides of the road open to traffic, as well as bike lanes in both directions and a median. The project is about to enter stage four of five.

Chris Petykowski with the city of Madison’s Engineering Department said road work is ahead of schedule at a number of sites across the city thanks to the heat.

“It’s helped a lot. You can see all throughout the city, most of the projects have been finishing on time or earlier because there are just not very many rain days where they have to stop working,” Petykowski said.

There were no days off for triple-digit temperatures, and the lack of rain is helping crews move forward faster than expected.

“The budgets are based upon the actual work done, so that’s still the same,” Petykowski said. “But as far as timing wise, yes, they’ve been getting finished a little earlier.”

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation isn’t taking a summer vacation either. The state is overseeing work on Fish Hatchery Road next to the Beltline. Crews and cranes are busy widening the bridge and reconfiguring that interchange.

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The DOT is also in charge of work on East Washington Avenue between Thierer Road and East Springs Drive. Crews there are replacing 40-year-old pavement, putting in new signs and signals, and bringing traffic flow up to two lanes in both directions, among other improvements.

Despite hot temperatures, state projects in the region are running on schedule.

Petykowski added summer is the best time to take care of this kind of work. When it gets cold and the ground freezes, it is more difficult and more expensive to dig, so Petykowski said the city likes to work as much as possible in these hotter months.

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