Traffic jams on Highway 169 this summer?

Drivers on Highway 169 through Princeton and Milaca will be heavily impacted by a pair of road projects this construction season.

Construction will come in two phases: In April through June the 17 miles between Milaca and Onamia will be reconstructed. The stretch from Zimmerman to Long Siding will be under construction from July through September.

“It’s going to disrupt people’s lives,” said Kirk Allen, project manager on the Zimmerman-Long Siding project.

The Milaca to Onamia project will consist of resurfacing the road, shoulders, turn lanes and the repair and replacement of culverts. Traffic on Highway 169 will be reduced to a single lane of traffic.

Princeton will sit right in the middle of the Zimmerman-Long Siding project. For three months, there will be intermittent lane closures as the highway is resurfaced and turn lanes are extended. Turn lanes will also be added as part of the project and some highway crossovers will be closed. Work will also be done to improve some drainage issues.

“There will be a lot of overlay work,” Allen said. The existing bituminous surface will be milled and replaced, he noted.

The Zimmerman-Long Siding project will begin on July 8.

“We’re waiting until after the holiday and will be wrapped up by October 1,” Allen said.

Highway 169 travelers will not be impacted on the weekends on the Zimmerman to Long Siding project, however.

“We are not allowing the contractor any lane closures in the northbound lane after 10 a.m. on Fridays and no southbound closures on Saturday afternoons and Sunday,” Allen said.

This will keep the project from interfering with weekend traffic, he said.

Another leg of the project will be to reconstruct the portion of Highway 169 from Onamia to Garrison. That will be a May through September project. Reconstruction of Highway 169 between Long Siding and Milaca is tentatively scheduled for 2016, Allen said.

That project is dependent on future funding.

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