GREEN BAY - A closed southbound lane of Highway 41 is expected to reopen by approximately 2 p.m. Sunday.
Officials from WisDOT say crews are also working to reopen the northbound lanes by 10 p.m. Sunday rather than 5 a.m. Monday morning as originally projected.
They'll spend Sunday afternoon backfilling the area and then pave over it.
Even with the construction moving ahead of schedule, some drivers are getting still stuck in traffic due to the detour.
It's caused by a major obstruction under Highway 41.
It's about 30 feet below the ground. Crews found it while trying to remove a sewer pipe in January.
Some machinery got stuck then and again last week.
So for now, the northbound lanes of Highway 41 from Shawano Avenue to Velp Avenue in Green Bay remain closed all weekend.
Southbound traffic on 41 was reduced to one lane, and the ramp from Velp Avenue onto southbound 41 were closed Saturday..
While some drivers say it's been a hassle, people who live near the construction project say it's causing an even bigger headache for them.
Drivers on Highway 41 had to take this detour and find a roundabout way to go about their errands Saturday.
"So far, I've been pretty fortunate. I've been avoiding it altogether, going under it or staying on Shawano, and just avoiding it altogether," said Sally Klein, from Green Bay.
But for those who live literally next door to this massive hole under US 41, there's just no avoiding the disruption.
"That's the noise that people, unfortunately, heard this morning at around 6 a.m.," said Barry Paye, a supervisor with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
"I'm living in a war zone. That's what it feels like," said Sandy Zittnow, looking out her front door, mere yards from the construction site.
Zittnow says for the past year she's battled living so close to the highway project. But Zittnow adds, when the heavy pounding began before dawn, the road work really hit a nerve.
"You just go around straightening pictures on the wall, but no clocks have fallen off yet," said Zittnow.
Crews apologized for the early start. Wisconsin Department of Transportation engineers say it was necessary for the project of installing the large sewer pipe to continue on schedule.
This large pipe carries sewage from the west side into the Green Bay Area Metropolitan Sewage District. And they have to complete it before they can complete the 41 project.
"We have a pit open in front of the pipe so we can install the sanitary sewer. We're going to back-fill that with crushed rock and make sure that's stable and then we'll backfill up to there, pave across, and have the road back open to traffic," said Paye.
Neighbors say while it's been a nuisance, they understand the necessity for getting the pipe and equipment unstuck.
"We were woken up a few times in the night but nothing real annoying," said Rick Ploetz, walking his dog Gracie. He lives about a block from this weekend's project.
"Whatever it takes to get the job done. I know they're having their difficulties there," said Ploetz.
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