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Motorists should be able to travel more smoothly through the Roberts Interstate 94/Highway 65 interchange, as the project was completed Nov. 1. Workers finished by cleaning up material on the roadsides and removing construction signs and barrels. (Photo by Sarah Young)

Roberts freeway interchange project completed on time

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The Roberts interchange at Interstate 94 and Highway 65 was completed Friday, Nov.1, according to a press release from the WisDOT’s Northwest Region.

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The $24.8 million project began in April 2012, and was finished on schedule and on budget, said project manager Tara Weiss.

“We were actually fairly ahead of schedule for quite a period of time this summer, but fell a little behind with the weather this fall,” Weiss said. “We have no final numbers yet budgetwise, but we’re about 95 percent paid.”

A diamond interchange was built with rounadabouts at the ramp terminals. Two miles of I-94 were also reconstructed toward Hudson.

“Motorists will now find a nicer driving surface, as well as a safer interchange with longer off-ramps and roundabouts to keep traffic flowing smoother at the ramp terminals,” Northwest Region Director Don Gutkowski said in a press release. “We know this has been a significant project in the area for the past two constructions seasons and we are pleased to have all lanes of traffic open on both the interstate and Highway 65.”

According to Chris Ouellette, regional communication manager of WisDOT for the northwest region, motorists may have seen workers cleaning up materials along the roadway late last week and early this week, but all barrels, traffic control signs and constructions signs should be gone by the end of the week.

Weiss said there were no major problems or large accidents this season during construction, except for a few trucks and semis hitting the crash cushions, which did not pertain to construction and were not construction-related.

Weiss also said the motorists had to deal with delays and backups due to lane closures, which is not surprising considering what a “highly trafficked area” that stretch of interstate is.

The DOT tried to work with contractors during off-peak hours to get work done when fewer motorists were on the road, Weiss said, but sometimes it couldn’t be avoided due to the large amount of work to get done.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience with this project the last two years,” Weiss said.

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Sarah Young
Sarah Young was appointed the editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, where she covered community events, spot news and education in Hammond, Roberts, Somerset and St. Croix County Circuit Court. Previously she free-lanced for the River Falls Journal, Hudson Star-Observer, RiverTown special publications and the Superior Catholic Herald. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. She lives in Prescott with her 2-year-old daughter Carolina.  
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