Drivers beware: Construction season arrives, ready to affect your daily commute

MILWAUKEE -- Several major road construction projects began on Monday, March 5, kicking off Wisconsin's construction season. Drivers said they were trying to do their best to navigate the detours.

Wells St. bridge closed

In downtown Milwaukee, the Wells Street Bridge closed Monday, with all traffic being detoured around the vertical lift bridge built in 1985. It'll be closed until November.

Engineer Craig Liberto said the project will essentially double the life span of the bridge, but it will also cut off traffic for the next eight months and wipe out parking between Plankinton Ave. and Water St.

Restaurant owner Robert Tao said he hopes his regulars will not be deterred by the closure.

Wells St. bridge closed

"This bridge, they need to fix, so I am glad they are doing that," Tao said.

Even with the detour signs, drivers were still getting used to the change.

"There is a lot of development going on. It's all progress and unfortunately it does affect motorists and pedestrians," Liberto said.

Happening at the same time, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is doing reconstruction on US 45 and Highway 100 from College Ave. all the way to Edgerton. Construction barrels were also up for work beginning on I-894 between National Ave. and 84th St.

One project was put on a 24-hour hold. WisDOT would not close southbound traffic over the High Rise Bridge in Milwaukee Monday because of the approaching snow storm.

The Wells Street Bridge is expected to be open in November, but as with any completion date, it's weather permitting.