Two kids standing near a construction sign that says "Please slow down—my dad works here".

Road Projects

During the summer construction season, various projects will be scheduled that will impact traffic. For current information on road projects impacting traffic see the announcements page.

Road Projects—Annual Pavement Replacement Program

The Marathon County Highway Department maintains over 600 miles of county highways. The average life of an asphalt roadway is 20 years. Therefore, to maintain a satisfactory level of service for the traveling public, 600 ÷ 20, or 30, miles of roadway need to be replaced annually.

The typical scope of work for the pavement replacement is called full depth reclamation (FDR). With the FDR process, the existing asphalt pavement is ground up in place. The ground asphalt is then used as base course, or foundation, for the new hot mix asphalt. The material is prepared with motor graders and compactors prior to new hot mix asphalt being placed on the roadway. For an in-depth description of the FDR process with illustrations, read “Rebuilding by Reclaiming” from Better Roads Magazine.

In addition to FDR, in 2016, Marathon County began including the use of cold in-place recycling (CIR) on county highways. Similar to the FDR process, a machine grinds the existing roadway into pieces smaller than 2″ across. With CIR, after the pavement is crushed, a foamed asphalt material is added to the material. The mixture is then placed directly into an asphalt paver and relaid on the highway. This material typically requires a minimum of seven days to cure. After it is cured, a final surface of hot mix asphalt is placed over the CIR. Due to the high cost of mobilization, crews may come and perform the CIR work on several segments of highway. Paving crews will follow this process. At times, there can be a month or more between the CIR and final paving stages.

A third option for resurfacing involves placing a layer of asphalt over the top of the existing roadway. This is typically placed on roadways that have a solid structure, but the surface is exhibiting early stages of failure. The overlay improves the ride in the roadway and extends the life of the underlying pavement by preserving it. Overlays vary in thickness, typically from ¾″ to 2″. They cost less and require less time, but have a shorter lifetime.

Additional project information is typically posted 1–2 weeks prior to work beginning in the announcements page. If you would require additional project information, please contact the Highway Department at 715‒261‒1809.

2019 Paving Projects (Anticipated)

Note: scope of work varies from full pavement replacement to thin overlays intended to preserve and extend the life of the existing pavement.  CTH is an abbreviation for County Trunk Highway.

  • CTH N from CTH X to Grand Avenue is anticipated to be under construction in 2019. The City of Wausau is responsible for the roadway from Grand Avenue to Skyline Lane. Marathon County is responsible for the construction from Skyline Lane to CTH X.  (June - October 2019)
  • CTH B from Rangeline Road to CTH N (May - July 2019)
  • CTH F from the County Line to State Highway 97 (June - August 2019)
  • CTH F from State Highway 97 to Corn Road (Includes 2.25 miles of CTH H) (June - August 2019)
  • CTH F from CTH O to CTH K (July - September 2019)
  • CTH F from 5th Lane to State Highway 107 (July - September 2019)

Schedules are approximate.  Announcements will be posted with additional details as projects begin. 

2019 Bridge Projects

The CTH Z bridge over the Eau Claire River will be under construction from February 4, 2019 - early June 2019.  The project is located between CTH Q and CTH Y in the Town of Easton.  Traffic will be detoured around to the south around the project on CTH Q, CTH N and CTH Y.

Paving Projects (Delayed)

  • CTH KK from CTH B to Shurwood Lane
    • This project was a pavement replacement and widening project scheduled for 2019 to be completed in conjunction with CTH B.  Due to the rapid deterioration of other roadways and the severe winter of 2018-19, this project will be delayed. A new construction date has not been determined.
  • CTH W from Evergreen Road to the County Line
    • This project was a pavement preservation and widening project scheduled for 2019.  Due to the rapid deterioration of other roadways and severe winter of 2018-19, this project has been delayed.  A new construction date has not been determined.
  • CTH K from Decator to CTH A, Village of Maine
    • CTH K was anticipated to be included in the 2017 program, but the Highway Department pursued additional funding for the project. It is anticipated the project will be postponed to at least 2021 in order to receive additional federal funding that was awarded for the project.

Road Projects - Wisconsin Department of Transportation

WisDOT manages various projects throughout Marathon County. The major projects are listed below with the anticipated dates for construction. For additional information on these projects, see the 511 Wisconsin page on current WisDOT construction projects in the North Central region, including Marathon County or the WisDOT page of future construction projects and current studies.

Road Project Links