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Summer means road construction

Summer won't officially begin for another two weeks, but road construction is in full swing. Summer as Midwesterners know it truly is here.

These road and bridge projects, such as the St. Croix Crossing bridge between St. Joseph, Wis. and Stillwater, Minn., not to mention will create occasional headaches for the impatient and patient alike — frustration and exhaustion that can't be blamed on the arrival of summer heat. But each of us would do well to remember that delays, detours and dust are part of the package.

There are immediate gains, of course, including employment for laborers. In addition to jobs on actual the construction sites, hundreds of jobs associated with road construction — trucking, engineering and excavating — pump money into the local economy. Plus, the hospitality industry sees gains as some of these construction workers eat in local restaurants, stay in local motels four or five nights a week.

Follow the construction signs. Slow down in work zones. Give these workers who are working to improve our infrastructure the room to do their jobs efficiently and well. The more we cooperate, the quicker they can finish.

Remember, the end results will be worth it. Our roads will be safer, our vehicles will last longer and people will get where they need to go in good time.

Projects in the region to be aware of include:

• Replacing the Highway 128 bridge over Interstate-94, reconstructing the ramp and widening Highway 128

• Reconditioning a 7-mile segment of Highway 128 in Pierce and St. Croix counties between Highway 29 and Elmwood.

• Upgrading operations and safety of I-94 in Hudson by adding additional lanes between Highway 35 North and U.S. Highway 12-County U interchanges and additional lanes on ramps at Highway 35 South interchange.

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