EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – Interstate 94 near Eau Claire will be undergoing a major reconstruction. The Wisconsin of Transportation plans to reconstruct the interstate’s Eau Claire County section between Hwy. 312 and Hwy. 37.
The project’s manager, Stacie Lambele, said crews will start work this summer. She said nearly six decades of wear and tear have taken its toll on the road.
“It’s deteriorated after all these years and the viable thing at this point is to replace the pavement,” Lambele said.
She said work will be done in phases. This year, crews will mill and resurface I94 in both directions between County Road C and the Chippewa River bridge, which ends at Hwy. 37.
“That asphalt surface will be milled up and then we’ll just lay new asphalt pavement down,” Lambele said.
Crews will also replace concrete pavement in I94′s westbound lanes between Hwy 312 and County Road E. In 2023, they’ll replace concrete pavement in that section’s eastbound lanes.
“We’ll be breaking up the old concrete and putting down new pavement,” she said.
She said the current state of each section of road determines which method crews use. Milling and resurfacing is a lot easier than replacing pavement.
“You can do it under single-lane closures. You can still be running traffic on it,” Lambele said. “You close a lane for a little bit of time while you’re doing your work but then you can open it back up again, whereas when we’re replacing pavement, we take the pavement away so we can’t have traffic on it.”
She said while pavement’s being replaced, traffic will be reduced to one lane going in each direction.
She added once the construction pain is finished, the payoff should mean people won’t feel it for a long time.
“We won’t be out here as often doing repairs on the road,” Lambele said. “We’ll have a longer period of time where we should be able to not have the orange barrels and signs out.”
The project also calls for repairs to the Hwy. 312 off-ramp.
Lambele said the project will require trucks to detour on Fridays and Sundays during construction.