Testing deems Wisconsin Hwy. 82 safe to travel but restriction to single lane will remain until repairs are completed

Following several consecutive days of subsurface testing during a weeklong closing, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) re-opened Highway 82 connecting Iowa and Wisconsin via the Black Hawk Bridge in Lansing to vehicle traffic Friday, May 3 around 4 p.m. That re-opening, however, has been limited to a single lane of traffic controlled by a stoplight for a nearly 100-yard portion of the highway near the smaller slough bridge closest to the highway entrance to the Winneshiek Slough Landing boat ramp.

Following the discovery of cracks in the pavement of the eastbound lane toward the east end of that slough bridge Thursday, April 25, Wisconsin DOT officials opted to close the highway to vehicle traffic as a precautionary measure following a similar high-water scenario near that same bridge that resulted in a washout of the roadway in May 2017. To determine the safety of the roadway, DOT officials conducted a series of tests Monday, April 29 through Friday, May 3, including boring into the pavement and road shoulder, the use of inclinometers to record any movement of the soil or other subsurface materials below the pavement, and a sonar unit to capture recordings and images of the riverbank subsurface supporting the roadway as well as the adjoining bridge structure.

According to Michael Bie of the Wisconsin DOT’s Office of Public Affairs for the state’s southwest region, “All test results indicate the roadway is safe for travel. The pavement on the westbound lane of WIS 82 is not damaged. The eastbound lane will remain closed for surface repairs and monitoring.”
Bie did not return a reply in time for publication to an inquiry as to how long Hwy. 82 would be limited to a single lane of traffic. He also did not address in time inquiries regarding the extent of the surface repairs or whether the testing conducted was able to determine the source of the initial cracks that prompted DOT officials to close the roadway April 25.

“Daily monitoring of the pavement and embankments will be ongoing,” Bie shared. “DOT will continue to look at long term improvements to prevent future high-water roadway closures.”

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