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Highway interchange project starts this spring

Visible work should begin in four months to add on/off ramps, an overpass and roundabouts for the intersection of Radio Road and Hwy. 35N.

In addition, Paulson Road, which now ends by the River Falls Journal building in Whitetail Ridge Corporate Park, will be extended northwest to Radio Road. A double-lane roundabout will be built where the two eventually intersect.

"Once the contractor is selected, construction is scheduled to begin in mid-May," said Beth Cunningham, project engineer for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Spooner office. "The first activities that will be seen is the extension of Paulson Road. Once Paulson has been extended to Radio Road and a connection has been made for local traffic, the existing Radio Road/Hwy. 35 intersection will be closed.

"It is anticipated that Radio Road will be closed early July 2013 and then could open as early as July 2014. During the closure of the Radio Road intersection, traffic heading south on Radio Road can use the new Paulson Road extension."

The two-year construction is part of the freeway conversion of Hwy. 35N. This involves removing stop-sign/right-angle access roads and replacing some of those with interchanges with high-speed ramps.

Cunningham said the current project will cost about $10 million -- 40% paid for by the city of River Falls with the state picking up the rest. Contractor bids will be let in March.

Most work will be done by mid-summer 2014. Some asphalting, lane striping, signage and landscaping will carry over until October of that year.

For more on this story and a map, please see the Jan. 17 print edition of the River Falls Journal.