WASHBURN COUNTY -- As early as Monday, Aug. 2, a two-year project building an interchange on US 53 in the Washburn County town of Trego will shift to the next stage of construction, which will continue into late fall.
The following traffic impacts are anticipated:
- US 53 will continue to be reduced to a single lane in each direction using the northbound lanes. Median crossovers will direct southbound US 53 traffic to the northbound lane motorists will be using.
- The new Mackey Creek Road, which parallels US 53 on the west side of the highway, will open.
- The temporary traffic signals on US 53 at County E/Oak Hill Road will be removed, and there will no longer be access to County E or Oak Hill Road at that location.
- County E traffic will be detoured using Benson Boulevard and Liesch Road to the US 53/63 intersection.
- The temporary connection of Service Road to US 63 will be opened for access to Trego on the east side of US 63.
Work on the $17.7-million Trego interchange began in March. The project aims to address safety and operational concerns on US 53, and construction will entail:
- Reconstructing US 53 from the former Mackey Road to existing US 63.
- Relocating US 63 to closely follow the existing Wild Rivers State Trail.
- Constructing a new grade-separated interchange connecting US 53 with realigned US 63.
- Constructing a new west frontage road – Mackey Creek Road – from the former Mackey Road to County E.
- Constructing turn lanes along US 53 at existing intersections including Mackey Creek, O’Brien and Ross roads.
During the next stage of construction, the following work is planned:
- Lowering the southbound lanes of US 53 approximately 6 feet.
- Building a new bridge on southbound US 53 to replace the aged and undersized Potato Creek box culvert.
- Continuing construction on the new Wild Rivers State Trail bridge over new US 63 and starting construction of the new US 63 bridge over US 53.
- Continuing work on of the retaining wall near the National Park Visitor Center.
- Removing the Lakeside Road bridge after the new Wild Rivers Trail bridge is open to recreational traffic, expected after Labor Day.
Construction is scheduled for completion in fall 2022. The schedule is dependent on favorable weather conditions and construction progress.