Entrance ramps onto I-94 set to be closed Thursday - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Entrance ramps onto I-94 set to be closed Thursday

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Drivers hoping to hop on to I-94 around the Eau Claire area are in for some changes later this week. A few on-ramps will go offline as the Wisconsin DOT replaces about five miles of interstate pavement.

Starting Thursday, access to I-94 from two major Eau Claire highways will be restricted. You won't be able to get onto I-94 westbound towards Minnesota from Highway 53. You also won't be able to get onto I-94 eastbound from Highway 93.

"The primary reason we're closing those ramps is because the interstate in that section will become single lane. There's so much traffic at those interchanges, we can't handle that amount of traffic coming onto the interstate when we're working on this construction project," said Chris Ouellette, Communication Manager with the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation Northwest Region.

While the changes may cause headaches for some, the DOT does have some suggestions for alternate routes. Use Highway 53 northbound to get onto highway 93. The DOT also suggests using 53 southbound as an alternate route for the 93 onramp closure. Those two are scheduled to be closed until September.

"We're not just paving over the top of it, we literally have to go in and take all of the old stuff out, get rid of it, and then put the new stuff down. So it does take some time," Ouellette explained.

After Labor Day both Highway 93 entrance ramps onto I-94 will be closed until November 9th. About five miles of pavement will be replaced on the interstate in a little over four months; something the DOT says is worth the wait.

"Another 50 years is what we're hoping for out of the new pavement. You can't always guarantee it but that's our plan is to make it another 50 years before it has to be replaced," said Ouellette.

The DOT says drivers should plan ahead for the closures and use caution when driving through the construction zones. To see more maps of the project, click here.

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