Work starts Monday on notoriously bad stretch of I-43

Project that will extend from Town of Grafton north welcomed by local officials
Ozaukee Press staff

It’s been called the roughest interstate in the Midwest by at least one town official, but I-43 from Highway 32 in the Town of Grafton north to the Ozaukee County line is slated to get smoother soon.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will begin repairing the 17-mile stretch on Sunday, Aug. 5.

The work includes diamond grinding the roadway and interchange ramps, safety grinding maintenance crossovers, repairing shoulder edge drops and damaged beam guards, installing high-friction surface treatments at two curves and replacing signs and pavement markings.

The highway will be closed and detoured, in one direction at a time, during overnight hours when the diamond grinding is being done, according to a statement from the DOT. During non-peak hours of the day, there will be interim single-lane closures in both directions.

The detour route will incorporate highways 32, LL and W. Interchanges will be open depending on where the diamond grinding work is being done at any given time.

Town of Belgium Chairman Tom Winker, who is also an Ozaukee County supervisor, and other officials and residents have been urging the state for years to repair the road.

“Long overdue. I’ll tell anybody it’s the roughest interstate in the Midwest,” Winker said upon hearing news of the roadwork in spring.

Winker, however, wishes crews would be doweling the sections of concrete together instead of diamond grinding.

The diamond grinding process removes a thin layer of concrete to improve ride quality, according to a July 24 statement from the DOT.

According to a 2010 DOT report, diamond grinding does not address structural causes of slab faulting, and faulted joints are “almost guaranteed” to reoccur.

In doweling, steel dowels are inserted into slots across cracks in pavement, providing a longer-term fix.

“The sad part is they’re not going to be doweling those sections of concrete together, which is just a shame,” Winker said. “We can’t change it. It’s not our project.”

For information on daily closures, visit and select Ozaukee County and I-43 in the roadwork/closures filter.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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