Michels Paving, a division of Michels Corp., Brownsville, Wis., is the prime contractor constructing islands and left-turn lanes at four intersections where county roads meet USH 151 Bypass in Fond du Lac, Wis.
The islands will improve traffic flow and safety by lengthening and defining left-turn lanes on the highway, and by preventing traffic from the county roads from crossing the four-lane divided highway.
Owner of the $296,000 project is the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).
Let for bids in mid-August, the fast-track project was bid, awarded and moved swiftly through the preliminary approvals and planning thanks to a coordinated effort from both the contractor and the state of Wisconsin departments involved.
Demolition and reconstruction work began in mid-September, with completion scheduled for mid-November, before winter sets in.
The first phase of the work consisted of Michels removing concrete pavement where the extended turn lanes and raised islands will be constructed. Using a wheel-mounted Volvo hydraulic excavator and a Ford 655E loader-backhoe, Michels ripped out 3,500 square yards of 10-inch concrete pavement from the median and intersections.
Phase two of the project, under way in late September as this is written, is seeing Michels build a long central island across each intersection. Shaped like a stretched-out letter "S" the central island forms the right-hand border of each turn lane and also creates a barrier that prevents side-road traffic from crossing the USH 151 bypass.
This phase also includes construction of the parallel islands that define the left-hand border of the turning lanes.
Michels is forming the islands by using a Gomaco GT3200 to pave the 3,000 linear feet of 6-inch-high concrete curb and gutter that outline the islands. The concrete is a high-early-strength type that sets up in about three days. The concrete work also includes paving about 1,500 square yards of 10-inch concrete pavement to extend the turning lanes.
Once their perimeters are solid and base course is added, a subcontractor will fill the islands with 4 inches of compacted asphalt. Together, all four intersections will require about 350 tons.
After construction is complete, other subcontractors will install new signage, paint the pavement markings and landscape the four locations by the mid-November deadline.
Said Scott F. Tease, project manager for Michels Paving, "Michels Paving is honored to be the prime contractor on this project. These improvements will greatly increase safety for the public traveling on the bypass."