GREEN BAY - A major traffic headache this weekend in the Green Bay area.
An unexpected crisis under the road is causing road crews to take some dramatic action.
And that means many Highway 41 drivers in the Green Bay area will have to find another way to get around this weekend.
Northbound lanes between Shawano Avenue and Velp Avenue will be closed, all weekend.
The problems began in January. Crews were removing a sanitary sewer pipe five feet in diameter far below the surface. An underground boring unit hit what officials believe was sand.
"The ground was collapsing more quickly than the tunnel boring machine could pull the dirt out the back. This resulted in the boring machine being stuck," said Brian Roper, DOT projects group chief.
Crews tried to reach the drill from the other side of the road. But a drill, 7-feet wide, hit what is being called a major obstruction.
"Of all the places for it to be located, it's beneath the Highway 41 northbound lanes," said Roper.
With two drills out of service, the obstruction will have to be removed the old fashioned way.
"Coming in excavating down that 28 feet below the paving surface, removing the obstruction, back filling it, replacing the pavement," said Roper.
Starting Friday at 8 p.m., northbound 41 between Shawano Avenue and Velp Avenue will be closed. Detours are set up for cars traveling in the area. And a regional detour includes I-43, Highway 172, and U.S. 41.
The DOT suggests the following detour routes:
- Hwy. 41 to Hwy. 172 eastbound to I-43 northbound to Hwy. 41
- Hwy. 41 to Hwy. 29 to Military Ave. north to Velp Ave. west to Hwy. 41
- Both the Hwy. 29 (Shawano Ave.) on-ramp to northbound Hwy. 41 and the Hwy. 54 (Mason St.) on-ramp to Hwy. 41 are closed.
- The detour for Hwy. 29 eastbound to Hwy. 41 northbound is Hwy. 29 to Military Ave. north to Velp Ave. west to Hwy. 41.
- Click here for more information and for detour routes
It's one piece of a construction puzzle that can affect the entire project.
"The Leo Frigo Bridge when it closes down to one lane, that that alternate route isn't impacted. So we want to get that done before next week," said Peter McCarthy, technical services director with the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District
"It is a big puzzle in terms of making sure everything gets done on time. Because one little glitch that can't be recovered from, puts everything off schedule," said Roper.
The cleanup cost is estimated to be between $750,000 and $1.5 million.
If all goes according to plan, the lanes should be open 5 a.m. on Monday.
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