Safety improvements scheduled to begin on notoriously dangerous road stretch

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STRATFORD, Wis. (WSAW) - Work on state highway 97 in Marathon County near Stratford is scheduled to begin part on July 9th.

A four million dollar highway project will include replacing several culverts, traffic signal modifications, a concrete overlay to the Big Eau Pleine River Bridge, and some sidewalk extensions.

Rumble strips will also be added on the center line. These strips help to reduce crashes by alerting drivers of lane departure through vibration and a noise created when the tires contact the rumble strip.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation (Wis. DOT) Project Manager Mark Steidl said rumble strips are extremely useful in the winter when motorists can't see the center line. Steidl hopes knowing that they're working on making the winter commute safer, motorists will have more patience while construction is going on.

"I would allow an extra 10 minutes or so on your commute because you may be stopped by flaggers." Steidl said.

The full project runs from WIS 97 at the intersection of Highway 29 and continues about 13 miles to Stratford and ends at South Street.