Highway 35 detour begins March 17
As work begins on the Wisconsin approach of the St. Croix Crossing bridge project, which was scheduled to begin March 12, motorists who travel between Hudson and Houlton will be affected by a detour, scheduled to go into effect Monday, March 17.
According to WisDOT Northwest Region Communications Manager Chris Ouellette, the contractor will begin work on the west side of the Highway 35 interchange where the newly routed Highway 64 will cross under Highway 35 on its way to the new bridge.
Motorists will be routed around the interchange site along County Roads V and E.
“The detour route shouldn’t add more than 10 minutes to a person’s commute, depending on traffic of course,” Ouellette said.
The detour will direct drivers past housing developments, St. Joseph Town Hall and Houlton Elementary School, but Ouellette said the DOT doesn’t expect that to be a problem.
“At this time we don’t anticipate any issues, but will monitor traffic patterns once the detour goes into effect,” Ouellette said. “We suspect some drivers who normally use the Stillwater Lift Bridge from the northern part of Hudson may change their route and use I-94 to cross the river.”
Motorists are advised to plan for a little extra travel time to accommodate the detoured route. The detour is expected to be in place until early July.
St. Croix County Highway Commissioner Timothy Ramberg said the detour route was considered carefully, and County Roads V and E are really the only place to send people around the interchange.
“The roads will be videoed before and after the project and any problem areas will be identified and addressed,” Ramberg said.
He said WisDOT will probably have to upgrade some signs on the county roads since there will be a higher volume of traffic on them now.
Once the interchange is done, drivers will pass over the new Highway 64 on an overpass structure with views of the new St. Croix Crossing bridge to the west.
According to WisDOT, “drivers will continue north and approach a new roundabout just south of Houlton. Highway 35 will no longer go into Houlton; instead drivers will turn right through a roundabout onto Highway 35’s new alignment and continue to the new interchange roundabout and then turn right onto the Highway 64 west ramp.”