As early as Monday, Aug. 2, a two-year project building an interchange on Hwy. 53 in the Washburn County town of Trego will shift to the next stage of construction, which will continue into late fall.

The following traffic impacts are anticipated:

> Hwy. 53 will continue to be reduced to a single lane in each direction using the northbound lanes. Median crossovers will direct southbound Hwy. 53 traffic to the northbound lane motorists will be using.

> The new Mackey Creek Road, which parallels Hwy. 53 on the west side of the highway, will open.

> The temporary traffic signals on Hwy. 53 at Cty. Hwy. E/Oak Hill Road will be removed, and there will no longer be access to Cty. Hwy. E or Oak Hill Road at that location.

> Cty. Hwy. E traffic will be detoured using Benson Boulevard and Liesch Road to the Hwy. 53/63 intersection.

> The temporary connection of Service Road to Hwy. 63 will be opened for access to Trego on the east side of Hwy. 63.

Work on the $17.7-million Trego interchange began in March. The project aims to address safety and operational concerns on US 53, and construction will entail:

> Reconstructing Hwy. 53 from the former Mackey Road to existing US 63.

> Relocating Hwy. 63 to closely follow the existing Wild Rivers State Trail.

> Constructing a new grade-separated interchange connecting US 53 with realigned Hwy. 63.

> Constructing a new west frontage road – Mackey Creek Road – from the former Mackey Road to Coty. Hwy. E.

> Constructing turn lanes along Hwy. 53 at existing intersections including Mackey Creek, O’Brien and Ross roads.

During the next stage of construction, the following work is planned:

> Lowering the southbound lanes of Hwy. 53 approximately 6 feet.

> Building a new bridge on southbound Hwy. 53 to replace the aged and undersized Potato Creek box culvert.

> Continuing construction on the new Wild Rivers State Trail bridge over new Hwy. 63 and starting construction of the new Hwy. 63 bridge over Hwy. 53.

> Continuing work on of the retaining wall near the National Park Visitor Center.

> Removing the Lakeside Road bridge after the new Wild Rivers Trail bridge is open to recreational traffic, expected after Labor Day.

Construction is scheduled for completion in fall 2022. The schedule is dependent on favorable weather conditions and construction progress.

Information regarding this project can be found at:

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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