Construction to permanently repair roads and trails damaged during the 2016 flood event in Ashland, Bayfield and Sawyer counties is underway.

A pre-construction meeting was held May 22, 2019, and contractors have mobilized and construction is underway.

“We are excited to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mike Martin, District Ranger, Great Divide Ranger District, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. “We are looking forward to having the majority of the permanent repairs completed this construction season.”

Numerous different contracts and contractors will be working to replace culverts and bridges, repair washouts, resurface roads and other road and trail repairs.

“Residents and visitors traveling in the area between Mellen, Drummond and Clam Lake this construction season may encounter detours, delays and longer travel time in the flood impacts areas where construction activities are happening,” said Martin. “We are working closely with the contractors to minimize delays and closures during peak travel times.”

The Forest will be using social media and the Forest’s website to post updates on where construction activities at https://go.usa.gov/xmJRw including temporary closures. If you have specific questions or would like more information please

“Folks traveling in the construction area are reminded to obey all signs and to please slow down,” said Martin. “There will be a lot of construction workers, equipment and large trucks on roads in the area and we want everyone to be safe.”

Since the July 2016 event, the Forest has been working with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration’s Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division to complete the permanent repairs.

 “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we have worked through our processes to get to where we are with the permanent repairs,” said Martin. “We understand some are frustrated however, we are almost there in having all of the roads and trails repaired.”

Currently, there are eight portions of roads closed where emergency repairs were not possible given the size and scope of damage.

This closure order will remain in place until the permanent repairs are complete. Attachment A of the closure order will be updated as roads are permanently repaired and reopened for travel.  For more information about which roads are closed please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/cnnf/home/?cid=fseprd593703.

(Copyright © 2019 APG Media)

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