Verona Road traffic shift planned Thursday
As major reconstruction of Verona Road and the Beltline continues, drivers should prepare for a major traffic switch this week.
Crews are finishing up work on the new northbound lanes of Verona Road and both north and southbound drivers will be shifted to that new road for the remainder of the construction season. That switch is scheduled to be completed by the morning of Thursday, July 17, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
“To safely and efficiently complete this overnight switch, periodic turn restrictions will be in effect to and from Verona Road (in this work zone) between 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 16 and 10 a.m. Thursday, July 17,” a news release from WisDOT read. “Alternate routes are encouraged during these hours.”
A temporary closure of the current Home Depot entrance from Verona Road was planned for this, project chief John Vesperman told the Star. The entrance will be shifted slightly to the north in preparation for the major switch.
Drivers should expect delays as people get used to the new traffic pattern, WisDOT officials warned. Still, people are encouraged to patronize local businesses along the construction route. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained each way, officials said.
In the months following the switch, several major components of the project will be completed:
• A jug-handle intersection at Summit Road
• A roundabout under Verona Road
• A pedestrian underpass under the intersection
About $28.2 million worth of work on these projects is slated to be completed by November. That will mark the halfway point of the first phase of the three-phase project. The second part of the first phase will focus on the Beltline. From Fall 2014 through Fall 2016, crews will work to expand the Beltline to three lanes west towards Whitney Way. That project includes new Beltline bridges over Verona Road and a new, single-point interchange at Verona Road.
While the main focus of the WisDOT project has been improving safety for drivers along major roadways, advocates have fought to have improvements made to the surrounding neighborhoods, as well. A recent study by the University of Colorado at Denver focused on some of the challenges local residents have faced when trying to improve public health along the Verona Road corridor. Some concerns have been addressed, including the construction of sound barriers, local detours and pedestrian connections. But the main focus of the project continues to be traffic management for the arterial roads.
Details about the project, including videos of how intersections will work and maps of construction phases, can be found online at veronaroadproject.wi.gov