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Farm Technology Days presents a traffic planning challenge


PLOVER, Wis. (WSAU) -- Farm Technology Days 2014 begins Tuesday in Portage County, and the host farms are located fairly close to the major highways. Portage County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Mike Morgan says that’s good for finding the show, but presents different challenges because it is also right across the road from both Crossroads Commons and the Portage County Business Park. Morgan says they worked with Department of Transportation engineers to come up with some temporary ways to handle the anticipated heavy traffic load coming in and out of the show.  “They gave us some great ideas and strategies on a guide route that can exist and co-exist with the business park, because we’re very close to that.”

Morgan says people traveling to the show will be able to follow signs and parking volunteers to safely get to and from the Farm Technology Days tent city.  “We’ve got some unique guide route strategies coming in from the north off of Highway R and 10, or off of the Interstate system at double-H, and traffic coming from the south coming in off of I-39 and B will be able to come up R from the south, and then working in close coordination with the people in parking, to split those lines even further.”

For drivers that normally travel to Crossroads Commons, expect some different timing and patterns for traffic signals this week.  “We’re going to be able to probably do some retasking of some signals. We’ll give some longer turn opportunities at some locations, some longer greens, and that will be something to help that inflow in the morning time and then reverse that strategy for the outflow in the afternoon.

Highway R, or Brilowski Road, was just recently reconstructed behind Kohl’s, Lowe’s, Walmart, and Furniture and Appliance Mart. That road will be closed to through traffic during the show, with traffic coming from both the north and south. The Sheriff’s Department and ambulance mobile command post will be in the middle of Highway R during the three day show.