Construction on US 10/WIS 441 began Wednesday in the Fox Valley. The project will last five years and cost $475 million.
"Kicking us off on a five-year journey to really reshape what the 441's gonna look like in this part of the corridor," said Brian Roper, WIS 441 Project Chief.
The project will widen a six-mile stretch of US 10 and WIS 441. Currently there are four lanes; after construction there will be six.
But that's not the biggest change, officials said.
They said one of the biggest changes included in the five-year project is construction of a new bridge over Little Lake Butte des Morts which will stand beside the current bridge, Roland Campo Bridge.
The new bridge comes as the number of cars traveling on the bridge continues to grow. Currently, about 60,000 cars travel on the Roland Campo Bridge every day. That number is expected to grow to 80,000 cars per day by the year 2038.
"Each bridge will handle a direction of traffic. Each bridge will carry four lanes of traffic," said Scott Ebel, WIS 441 Design Project Manager.
The construction will also correct some emergency response safety issues.
"For those of you who have never experienced a 911 caller up there, it's scary as heck," said Wisconsin Representative and Neenah Mayor Dean Kaufert.
Construction on the new bridge is scheduled to begin in September.
When construction is finished, scheduled for the end of 2016, "Each bridge will carry four lanes of traffic and the bridges will have ample room to pull over to the side of the road," Ebel said.
The DOT's latest project will also feature the area's first diverging diamond interchange at the Oneida Street exit. The interchange uses two traffic signals to streamline traffic on and off the highway. There aren't any interchanges like this one currently in Wisconsin, but a handful are proposed near Milwaukee and Madison. The interchange is used in several other states (one resource to learn more about them is http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/hwy15ddi/).
"We believe that this is a safer option here since we do have such large volumes of traffic," Ebel said.
The 41/441 interchange will also be reconstructed. This will allow motorists to easily travel in all directions.
"Folks locally know this that you're heading northbound and you can't go west, or you're heading eastbound and you can't head north towards Green Bay," said Roper.
Officials said drivers won't see much of a traffic impact until at least next year.
"For the most part though travel during peak hours, during the day will remain as it currently is, same number of lanes out there," said Ebel.
Wednesday, August 20 2014 4:24 PM EDT2014-08-20 20:24:46 GMT
Militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded American journalist James Foley and are threatening to kill another hostage in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq.More >>
The United States stood firm Wednesday in its fight against Islamic State militants who beheaded a U.S. journalist in Iraq, pledging to continue attacking the group despite its threats to kill another American hostage....More >>
Wednesday, August 20 2014 4:14 PM EDT2014-08-20 20:14:30 GMT
Police and protesters in Ferguson were finally able to share the streets again at night, putting aside for at least a few hours some of the hostility that had filled those hours with tear gas and smoke.More >>
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has met briefly with the officer in charge of security in Ferguson since the shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer.More >>
Wednesday, August 20 2014 2:44 PM EDT2014-08-20 18:44:09 GMT
Workers at a farm saw hundreds of cactuses sweep away in a flood. Drivers on Arizona's main north-south freeway watched in shock as muddy waters submerged the road. Rescuers across the state rushed to save...More >>
Residents began cleaning up Wednesday from devastating flooding that slammed Arizona a day earlier, trapping people in vehicles and homes and washing away thousands of cactuses at a farm north of Phoenix.More >>
Updated look and more features, including weather videos and Report the Weather More >>
StormCenter 2 On the Go is updated with MORE features, including weather videos, meteorologists' tweets, and Report the Weather, plus your hour-by-hour forecast, Pinpoint Digital Doppler, and weather alerts for up to 4 locations! More >>