Soon, drivers in Stoughton will have a new experience, as the nearly two-mile-long construction project for U.S. Hwy. 51 comes to an end a month early.
The state Department of Transportation project that affected a nearly mile-long segment of 51 between Van Buren Street and Hoel Avenue was slated to end in October, but barring weather delays, the entire project could near completion the first week of September, DOT project manager Alex Hagen said.
The City of Stoughton’s project along the same road, from Fifth Street to Page Street, is also expected to be finished by Friday, Aug. 28, public works director Brett Hebert told the Hub in an email. That project was scheduled to coincide with the DOT project to take advantage of reduced traffic volume, the city’s website states.
Drivers might still see traffic control devices for a few weeks as crew members are likely to do spot checking and small repairs but for the most part the roads will be open, Hagen said.
The DOT project, which has been in the works for at least three years, had four lanes of traffic shrink to two lanes, and drivers were not able to make left turns into businesses or onto the street. Some portions of the project were completely shut down to drive through traffic.
Van Buren Street to Page Street had a complete subgrade improvement – meaning the construction crew dug 20 inches to remove all rock and materials and then replace surface materials.
The portion from Van Buren Street to Hoel Street going east was more long-term maintenance, Hagen told the Hub. Construction crews replaced some pieces of concrete that were severely deteriorated, filled cracks and then laid asphalt on top.
The city’s project included spot repairs, concrete pavement joint repairs, mudjacking and a polymer overlay on the Main Street bridge. The city also added some more safety features for pedestrians, including rapid flashing beacons and elimination of the crosswalk on the east side of Fifth Street because it was considered a blind curve, according to the city’s website.
Although COVID-19 reduced traffic, Hagen said the project efficiency is mostly a result of favorable weather and efforts of the construction teams.
“Most people don’t see the level of coordination and time that it takes to pull a project like this off,” Hebert wrote to the Hub in an email. “We certainly appreciate the patience of the business owners and the general public. The improvements that were made in the downtown corridor will serve the City of Stoughton well for many years to come.”