TREGO, WI -- The northbound lanes of US 53 in the Washburn County town of Trego are expected to open to traffic as early as Thursday, Oct. 20, and traffic will no longer be using crossovers.
Once the northbound lanes open, traffic in both directions will be using the outside lanes, the signals at US 53/63 will remain operational, and the speed limit on US 53 will remain 55 mph.
The new US 53/63 interchange is expected to open to traffic as early as Monday, Oct. 24, and all US 63, County E and local traffic will use the interchange to access the new roadways constructed during the past two construction seasons.
Project completion in 2022 is expected by Nov. 25, with final restoration of disturbed areas continuing in spring 2023. The final construction stage impacts will be:
- New US 63 will operate with temporary traffic signals near the National Park Service Visitor Center for approximately four weeks while the US 63 connection area is reconstructed, and only a single lane of traffic will be allowed through the work zone. Motorists should expect delays.
- US 53 will remain in a single lane in each direction while the contractors remove the temporary crossovers in the medians, temporary traffic signals and intersection pavement at Liesch Road, and the speed limit will remain at 55 mph through the work zone.
- The local roadways in Trego will remain open.
- Existing US 63 will be reconfigured to a local road and milled and overlaid with new asphalt.
- A portion of Liesch Road will be milled and overlaid once County E traffic is no longer using the detour route.
Construction of the Trego interchange began in March 2021 to address safety and operational issues. Crashes that have occurred along US 53 in the Trego area resulted in a crash rate that exceeded the state average for similar type facilities. In addition, seasonal peaks in traffic due to the highly recreational nature of the region resulted in significant traffic delays at the US 53/63 at-grade intersection for westbound US 63 traffic wanting to enter onto southbound US 53.
Construction has included:
- Reconstructing US 53 from 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 from Mackey Road to County E.
- Constructing turn lanes along US 53 at existing intersections including Mackey, O’Brien and Ross roads.
- Removing the Lakeside Road Bridge.