Summer construction starts on Beltline

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Two resurfacing projects started Monday at 7 p.m. on the Beltline, shutting down lanes and ramps. The projects will continue through the summer; in total, they cost $16.2 million.

"There will be quite a bit of work ahead of motorists here this summer," said Michael Bie with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Crews will work to resurface the asphalt on two different sections of the Beltline. The first is between Gammon and Whitney Way. The second is between Seminole Highway and the I39/90. Crews will also work on improving the ramps and installing guardrails along the first section.

"There'll be a nice new surface for motorists once the project is completed, Bie said. "The projects will improve the safety and the ride ability of the Beltline highway quite a bit."

The project between Gammon and Whitney Way is expected to be finished in September. The work between Seminole Highway and the interstate should end in October.

Several ramps and lanes will be closed over the next few months. Most of the construction work will be done at night, but the DOT said it could still cause traffic problems.

"Particularly early in the evening, generally from 7 pm to 10 pm, there may be slowdowns," Bie said.

Bie also said the DOT wants to remind drivers to be aware and put safety first.

"Folks need to reduce speeds, put down the cellphones and be aware of crews starting to work out there," Bie said.

These two projects are not the end of construction on the Beltline. Bie said because the Beltline is so heavily trafficked -- 127,000 vehicles drive on it every day -- repairs and improvements are constantly needed.

"Given the travel volume and the weather that we have here, work to improve the safety and the operations along the Beltline will be ongoing. That’s a fact of life that we’ll have here in Madison as it comes to the Beltline. And there will be further projects to improve the Beltline in the future," he said.

For residents planning to travel for Memorial Day, construction will likely not cause too many problems. There will be no construction work from Friday, May 24 through Monday, May 27. Crews will start up again on Tuesday, May 28.