Congestion eases along detour route

Local drivers finding alternate routes

Traffic congestion on Green Bay and Main streets as a result of the Airport Drive reconstruction detour has eased over the past week, according to Shawano Public Works Coordinator Eddie Sheppard.

Last week, the city was considering altering the timing of traffic lights along the detour route, particularly at the intersection of Green Bay and Main, where congestion was the most intense.

In the days immediately following the Aug. 1 closure of Airport Drive, traffic on Main Street was often backed up a block down to the south at Division Street.

The official state detour during the project is Highway 29 to Highway 22 (Main and Green Bay streets), which is also the route truck traffic is expected to take.

However, local drivers have apparently been opting for other routes within the city to avoid the traffic along the state’s official detour.

“The locals have been finding alternate routes,” Sheppard said.

That was also the expectation of the Department of Transportation at a recent public hearing.

“I’m sure people will take the roads they know to get around inside the city limits,” said Jim Volkmann, DOT project manager.

The work on Airport Drive includes reconstructing the existing four-lane road to a two-lane road between Green Bay Street and County Road B; repairing curb and gutter and storm sewer; improving intersections; and reconstructing the railroad crossing.

Work is expected to be wrapped up by late October.