Rough Road…next 11-miles…45 miles per hour.
That’s the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s
temporary solution to the bumpy road that
Highway-81 has become between Lancaster
and Platteville. The speed limit on the highway
has been reduced because of heaving near the
cracks in the pavement, which is called “tenting.”
Motorists that use Highway-81 may have noticed
the “tenting” has become worse over the past
month. Truck drivers using the road typically
reduce speeds to slower than the posted
45-miles an hour. Several have been observed
putting on the emergency flashers on their
vehicle when going down the Ellenboro hill.
Grant County Highway Commissioner
Dave Lambert told the Grant County Board
on Tuesday that a D O T official recently told
the Highway Commission, D O T officials were
going to grind the pavement down where
the “tenting” was the worst. Lambert says that
D O T official called back later and told
him they wouldn’t be grinding the pavement,
because the problem of “tenting” was
happening on roads throughout the state.
By the way, the post speed limit of
45 miles an hour is advisory only, and
Lambert says no one will be ticketed for
driving the road at its’ normal speed limit
of 55 miles an hour.
“Tenting” is nothing new to roads in the
northern United States. The New Hampshire
Department of Transportation did a study
back in 1999 and 2000. It was done with
help from the U-S Army Corps of Engineers,
Cold Region Research and Engineering Lab.
That study says not only does “tenting”
produce a highly irregular riding surface
toward the end of the Winter season, but
it can lead to rapid premature deterioration
the pavement surface.