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RACINE — Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) planners have decided to schedule replacement of the heavily traveled Highway 38 bridge (Northwestern Avenue) over a two-year period starting in 2024.

The longer construction work schedule means that the bridge will remain open to traffic. The current six-lane bridge carries an estimated 25,000 vehicles per day.

A public input session about the project and timeline is planned for 4 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (June 14) at the Cesar Chavez Community Center, 2221 Douglas Ave. Planners will be available to share details, answer questions and receive public comments.

Highway 38 bridge traffic

Traffic feeds onto the 60-year-old bridge from County Highway MM and Northwestern Avenue from the west, and from Northwestern Avenue, Rapids Drive and North Green Bay Road from the east.

Residents and business operators who attended a public meeting in late April told WisDOT representatives that they preferred to see the two-year construction schedule. While that alternative would reduce the number of available lanes, motorists could still use the bridge instead of taking lengthy detours.

Highway 38 bridge (Northwestern Avenue)
The Highway 38 bridge (Northwestern Avenue) carries travelers across the Root River on Racine’s north side. – Credit: Paul Holley

A petition, signed by about 1,500 individuals, that called for the two-year construction option was presented to WisDOT representatives at the meeting. 

A WisDOT planner told the Racine County Eye in April that the two-year timeline would add about $2 million to the project price tag bringing it to an estimated $8 million.

For a summary of the bridge project plans, visit the WisDOT Highway 38 bridge project web page.

Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...