Published: Monday, July 1, 2013 --- 11:00 p.m.
The multi-year Verona Road-beltline construction project is underway. Crews were out Monday night widening the shoulders of the east bound lanes near the Todd Drive exit. It's part of a $170 million plan to make a number of much-need improvements to the area.
If you've ever driven along Verona Road, you'll know it's a lot of stopping and waiting and waiting some more.
"It's become very congested," said John Steiner with the Wis. Dept. of Transportation. "And that interchange with the beltline creates a lot of back up. It's the only triple left we have because there's so much traffic heading West off 151."
The highway is a main link between Dubuque and Fond du Lac. But with several traffic lights and poor access to the beltline, Steiner says it's not an efficient route.
"This stretch here is going to be expanded to six lanes and we're going to take out a bunch of the intersections and intersection lights and be interchanges for more free-flow traffic," he said.
The reconstruction will begin this summer, but the worst of it won't start until 2014.
Up at the beltline, a number of connected projects will coincide, including raising the Seminole Highway Bridge to create longer on-ramps to and from Verona Road. The bridge will be closed from August-November. The Todd Drive east bound on-ramp will also be closed starting in mid-July.
"I know for this particular place, they're going to block the main entrance and they're going to have to use an alternate entrance," said Tom Kuban. He bartends at Feiler's Supper Club, one of many businesses along Verona Road near the beltline that's right in the center of the construction.
Kuban fears anyone who's not a regular, won't know the restaurant is open.
"People willl drive by and say, oh it looks like it's closed, we can't get in," he said. "And a lot of people aren't going to be aware of the other drive."
The Wis. DOT has provided the owners with information about what to expect.
"I have seen some maps that kind of draw the pictures of what's going on," Kuban said. "But it doesnt' seem like it ever happens the way they want it to. So we'll just wait and see I guess."
Drivers will get some reprieve over the July 4th holiday weekend. Construction will temporarily stop on Wednesday, but it will start up again Monday, July 8.