Three weeks after clearing and grubbing began, additional work is about to start in the Washburn town of Trego, the site of a two-year project to address safety and operational issues at US 53 intersections.
Starting today, changeable message signs that will give motorists on US 53 advance notification of work on the four-lane highway will be delivered and turned on. That will result in short-term shoulder closures on US 53. In addition, the installation of temporary traffic signals at the US 53/County E/Oak Hill Road and US 53/US 63 intersections in the coming weeks will result in short-term, daytime lane closures on US 53.The signals are expected to be turned on in mid-summer.
Grading operations are anticipated to start the week of April 19 and likely will include grading at Leisch and Wood roads, a connection between the local road and US 63 in the southeast quadrant of the existing US 53/US 63 intersection and between Mackey Road and County E.
The work is part of a $17.7 million project to address safety and operational issues on US 53. Crashes that have occurred along the highway in the Trego area have resulted in a crash rate that exceeds the state average for similar type facilities. In addition, seasonal peaks in traffic due to the highly recreational nature of the region have resulted in significant traffic delays at the US 53/US 63 at-grade intersection for westbound US 63 traffic wanting to enter onto US 53. Construction will entail:
- Reconstructing US 53 from Mackey Road to existing US 63.
- Relocating US 63 to closely follow the existing Wild River State Trail.
- Constructing a new grade-separated interchange connecting US 53 with realigned US 63.
- Constructing a new west frontage road from Mackey Road to County E.
- Constructing turn lanes along US 53 at existing intersections including Mackey, O’Brien and Ross roads.
During the first phase of construction, all roads will remain open; however, there will be daytime only flagging operations that might cause short delays.
Construction is scheduled for completion in fall 2022. The schedule is dependent on favorable weather conditions and construction progress.