Highway 81 re-opens north of Madison

Good news for drivers who use Highway 81 north of Madison.  The State Department of Transportation says the highway, four miles south of Arlington through Twin Lakes, has re-opened to traffic after being closed for several months due to significant flooding in the eastern part of the state last year. 

Work began in August of 2019 and included raising the grade three-and-a-half feet, placing riprap, fabric, geogrid, striping, rumble strips, signing and guardrail. The guardrail installation was a needed safety measure due to the excessive drop off from raising the road and deep waters of 25-feet in some locations along this section.

Motorists are advised to drive through the area with caution, especially during inclement weather. Continued high water levels alongside the road will create a higher incidence of ice on this section during the winter months. 

The speed limit through this raised section will be set at 55 miles per hour.  

The state Transportation department will continue to monitor water levels and plan to place additional dirt embankment on the in-slopes, extended drainage culverts and connect local roads soon, depending on water levels and additional precipitation in the coming months. Long-term plans are being developed to make the grade raise work permanent in the next year or so.