Is overnight road construction the way to go?

Highway 16 reopens, more work still to be done

Drivers have a much smoother ride along Highway 16 in La Crosse.

The majority of construction on the road finished last week.

All work on the project was done at night something that’s becoming more common.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation said it decided to work on Highway 16 overnight for safety reasons.

The DOT said the idea of working at night started about seven years ago.

It says construction companies are on-board with the idea of working at night if that means safer working conditions.

There are added risks when working at night. Contractors are required to have reflective and bright-colored clothing on at all times, as well as the proper lighting equipment for construction vehicles.

“It’s always safest for the contractor to be working on the road when it’s the safest for the drivers as well,” DOT Project Manager Reiny Yahnke said.

Yahnke said when a road, like Highway 16, has a lot of traffic during the day it’s not safe for drivers or workers to be closing a lane for construction.

“When we shut down lanes on Highway 16 during the day that causes traffic to back up, which causes drivers to have to stop when they don’t think have to stop, which then causes an accident to occur at the back end of the traffic,” he said.

Yahnke said work on Highway 16 all went according to plan and there were never any close-calls between drivers and workers.

There is still a little bit of work that needs to be done on the road. The intersection of 16 and Losey Boulevard needs some concrete repairs. That is expected to take place overnight on the first two Fridays in October.