Governor Evers approves bridge repair project in Marathon County

​County U/Merrill Avenue bridge over US 51 struck and damaged in December 2021

Release date: August 16, 2022

To invest in Wisconsin's transportation system, Gov. Tony Evers has signed a $1.64 million contract with prime contractor Sheet Piling Services of Custer for a repair project on the County U/Merrill Avenue bridge over southbound US 51 in the Marathon County city of Wausau. Construction is scheduled to start Monday, Aug. 22.

In December 2021, the bridge was struck and damaged by an over-height vehicle. To repair the damage, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation project will:

  • Remove part of the existing bridge deck carrying the eastbound lanes of Marathon County U over southbound US 51.
  • Replace four damaged bridge girders and make minor repairs to several others.
  • Install new girders and replace the affected bridge deck.

During construction, north- and southbound US 51 will remain open to traffic, but:

  • Motorists might encounter periodic single-lane closures.
  • US 51 traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction on the northbound lanes when necessary for construction operations. Bidirectional traffic will only be used between midnight on Mondays and noon on Fridays.
  • The on-ramp from Marathon County K to southbound US 51 will be closed and detoured via Business 51 and Marathon County U.
  • Eastbound Marathon County U will be closed during construction and detoured via southbound US 51, Bridge Street and northbound US 51.

All structure work is expected to be completed by early November, but staining could be carried over into 2023.

For more information regarding traffic impacts, transportation news and improvement project updates in Wisconsin's North Central Region:

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581,