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.


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