BARABOO, Wis. - Fifteen years ago, a four-lane bypass on U.S. 12 around Baraboo was just a concept. After years of studies, planning, land acquisitions and construction, the 6.1 mile project is entering the final phase.
When completed, the bypass will save drivers time and improve safety.
"Ideally it will be a much safer roadway with access control at the ramps that we've built at the two interchanges in Baraboo at Highway 136 and County Highway W. That will provide more access control, improved curves and it should speed up commutes for people heading either to Madison for work or up to the Dells for a weekend," Greg Brecka, a DOT project manager, said.
Work began this fall on the final mile of the project. That involves the grading from Point of Rocks to Ski Hi Road. Because of the mild weather, the project is ahead of schedule.
"The good weather we've had this fall has just been exceptional for the project. We've got an extra two to three weeks of grading in," Brecka said.
Right now, work is being done to grade what will become the westbound lanes of the bypass, while traffic continues to move on the original U.S. 12. In the spring, the roadbed will be built on the new westbound lanes and concrete will be poured. When the new westbound lanes are completed traffic will be moved there so the new eastbound lanes can be built where U.S. 12 currently sits.
While the project is now focused on the final mile of the bypass project, to the west much of the 5 remaining miles is already complete. Concreted has been poured on 80 percent of that 5-mile stretch and 11 bridges have been built.
Once completed, the Baraboo bypass will cover 6.1 miles from Terrytown Road to Ski Hi Road and turn that stretch of U.S. 12 from a two-lane road into a four-lane bypass. The total cost of the project is $60 million and work is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 1, 2017.
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