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Temporary bypass road gets green light in Hobart

By Ben Rodgers

HOBART – In a 15-minute special meeting Wednesday, Nov. 25, the Hobart village board achieved two firsts.

In its first-ever virtual meeting, the board agreed to award a bid for the construction of a temporary bypass road, the first noticeable step for many in the construction of the State Highway 29/County VV interchange.

“It’s like a giant domino game we’re playing,” said Village Administrator Aaron Kramer. “This is the first domino, if you will, for the interchange project. The timing is important.”

The board awarded a bid just north of $80,000 to Peters Concrete, roughly half the cost of the lowest projected total of $160,000.

Director of Public Works Jerry Lancelle said the bid is low because the road will not be immediately paved, which would have required the materials be brought from Wausau and doubled the cost.

“I just can’t justify a temporary road service for that kind of money,” Lancelle said. “I can’t in good faith recommend authorizing that.”

The temporary North Overland bypass road will route traffic from Larson Orchard Parkway around the construction and back to North Overland.

Construction on the road began Nov. 30.

The bypass road will allow for the improvements of North Overland, which has an estimated cost of $2.3 million, to provide deep sanitary sewer along with all other utilities and road construction, with the majority of the work being done in 2021.

Lancelle said the temporary bypass road will be paved for about $40,000 in spring.

“It’s not ideal, but being a temporary road, I’m not concerned about losing some gravel here and there over winter,” he said. “The road won’t go into service until late January-ish, depending on when work starts. Obviously, we don’t have to open the bypass road until the other road shuts down.”

Lancelle said the North Overland shutdown and temporary road opening could be delayed to as late as February, depending on dewatering for the sewer work on North Overland.

At the Nov. 4 village board meeting, Jared Schmidt, an engineer with Robert E. Lee & Associates, said North Overland will be closed “for the better part of a calendar year – nine months, 10 months.”

“This existing North Overland Road, as we know it today, is going to be all but gone,” Schmidt said Nov. 4.

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