"It's summer. What do you expect? Summer in Wisconsin is road construction."
That's how one Wausau woman explains her patience during construction, and in downtown Wausau there's a lot of it. All this week Forest Street will be closed to drivers heading north on Sixth Street, and John Hess with the Department of Public Works is asking drivers to be patient.
"I think people are more aware of it now and a little more tolerant of the backups."
They're more tolerant, but with one more added detour those we talked to are also more confused.
“It's like an obstacle course, confusing, but amusing.”
Every driver we talked to says construction is a pain, but they do all admit the work needs to be done.
"It'll probably be really nice when it's done, but right now it's kind of an inconvenience."
So what's the best way to minimize the inconvenience? We tested two southbound routes and two northbound routes. Our southbound routes began at U.W. Marathon County and ended at our Channel Seven studios.
One route went right through construction, the other route avoided downtown via Thomas Street. Going through downtown took 6 minutes and 50 seconds, while taking Thomas Street took 5 minutes and 35 seconds.
Avoiding downtown shaved off well over a minute. Our northbound routes began again at U.W.M.C. and ended at the corner of Bridge and Sixth Street. One route took the marked detour through downtown, the other avoided downtown via Bridge Street. It took us 6 minutes and 2 seconds heading through downtown, while the Bridge Street route clocked in at 6 minutes, 43 seconds.
Turns out the downtown route heading north is more than 30 seconds faster, but what's most surprising is how fast every route had us through construction all in less than 10 minutes.