HUDSON — Regular maintenance on the Carmichael Bridge over Interstate 94 will mean closures for traffic, but the extent of the closures is up to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
The department has work scheduled for the construction season of 2022 to replace the joints and approach slabs on the bridge and put a polymer overlay on the deck, Project Manager Stacie Lambele told the Common Council on Monday, Aug. 16.
Initially, the DOT was planning for lane closures that would leave one-lane of traffic open in each direction. In early meetings city representatives expressed concern about how that would backup traffic.
Leaving two lanes open in each direction is an option for the maintenance. Doing so would extend the project from 41 days to 74 days. It would also increase the cost from $820,000 to $1,104,000. The maintenance is a state project, and none of the cost would be the city’s responsibility.
The two-lane option would include multiple stages that would shift which lanes are open as work is completed.
A third option would be to close the bridge fully to all traffic, reducing the work time down to 24-30 days, City Administrator Aaron Reeves said.
Council Member Paul Deziel said he’d want to keep at least one lane open for EMS and fire. He said he’d prefer the one-lane option, to balance leaving it open for emergency vehicles while still cutting down on time.
Council Member Jim Webber said the one-lane opening is dangerous for emergency vehicles, and would be difficult to clear traffic.
“It’s going to take a miracle of light management to make that happen and I have strong doubts about that,” Webber said.
The council reached a consensus on the two-lane option. The final decision, though, is up to WisDOT.
The planned maintenance does not affect plans for any future expansion of the exit, Reeves said.