GREEN BAY - We're learning more about which detours people are choosing to use with the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge out.
There are several options. You can get over the Fox River on Main, Walnut and Mason streets, or on Highway 172.
If a sagging Leo Frigo has you avoiding bridges, the DOT says rest assured Highway 172 can handle the extra load.
“When we build a bridge, we build it to be able to withstand all semi trucks on that bridge sitting there, 24, 48, 72 hours. Just sitting there. That's how much weight it can handle,” said Mark Kantola, Wis. Department of Transportation.
The Highway 172 bridge has dealt with more weight this week. On Wednesday, September 18, the 172 bridge had more than 97,000 vehicles cross it. That was when Leo Frigo was open, with its average of 40,000 vehicles a day. This Wednesday, when the Leo Frigo Bridge closed, the 172 bridge saw nearly 125,000 vehicles. A 25.8 percent increase.
“Whenever there's a big detour like this we have to monitor the detour route. We do that with our freeway cameras. We've got 20 of them. We do that with highway detectors, the things you roll over you can feel the little bump that counts the cars. We also have actual people out there that count cars at certain places,” said Kantola.
The Green Bay Police Department also has officers monitoring and helping traffic flow in downtown. The peak times have been between 7 and 9 a.m. and 3 and 5:30 p.m.
“Even during those times, the backups are relatively short compared to what it could have been,” said Lt. Jeff Brester, Green Bay Police Department.
“Is it 5 or 10 minutes longer?” asked FOX 11’s Ben Krumholz.
“If that, 5 or 10 minutes, it's not really as bad as it was expected to be,” said Brester.
Law enforcement and the DOT are working together to ensure traffic remains running smoothly.
“I know there's two or three meetings a month where we get together and talk about traffic management plan, but when you have a large detour like this, I would say we're in constant communication,” said Kantola.
To help things move even better, city officials plan to change traffic light timings next week. They are also working with ships and trains, so they avoid the downtown area during the peak times.
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