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Construction on Cass St. roundabout to begin next week

Project will convert intersection into roundabout

Construction on Cass St. roundabout...

LA CROSSE, Wis. - Construction on one of La Crosse's busiest streets gets underway next week.

Work on Cass Street is expected to begin next Wednesday.

The project connects the intersections of Cass and 7th Street into one roundabout.

For those who travel around 7th and Cass Streets, they know traffic can be a little hectic.

"You can see here where people come through the green light, and then they are stopping right away if they want to turn left here,” said Wisconsin Department of Transportation project manager Todd Waldo.

That's why the WisDOT will convert the intersection of 7th and Cass Street into a single-lane roundabout.

"You're making one intersection out of both 7th Streets right now instead of having two separate intersections," Waldo said.

For those who travel that way, the DOT said it will make your commute much smoother. 

"You'll be able to come up 7th Street, and you'll come into the roundabout, and continue up 7th Street,” Waldo said. “So you won't have to make this right turn, left turn."

But businesses along the route like Sew Clean admit the construction, which will close Cass Street from Fourth to 7th Streets, has them a little concerned.

"I think the lack of business is a concern -- or a decrease of business is a concern,” said manager Beth Zimmerman. “We do have an entrance on 7th Street that our customers can use."

Despite those concerns, they said the work in the end is a good thing.

"Construction is kind of a fact of life in Wisconsin. So you deal with it, and in the end, it will be beneficial to everyone,” Zimmerman said.

And while the roundabout may have some drivers grumbling, the DOT said it's the safest option.

"We look at both options, and at this spot, we felt the roundabout was the best choice,” Waldo said.

Because Cass Street will be closed, there are some detours for travelers.

The official detour urges drivers to use 3rd and 4th streets to La Crosse Street for access to 7th Street.

The project is expected to be completed sometime in July.

The project is also making upgrades to street lighting and utilities, which is why the full price tag of the project is about $2.3 million.
 


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