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Intersection changes baffle some motorists
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The state Department of Transportation’s revamp of intersections along Highway 52 northeast of Antigo is causing confusion—and concern—among motorists.

The Langlade County Sheriff’s Department received several calls Friday from motorists unclear about the changes in signage at the Highway 52 intersections at County Highways V, BB, I, S and B.

According to Mike Wendt, traffic operations supervisor for the DOT’s Northcentral Region, the changes carried out this week by Langlade County Highway Department crews were long overdue, but will require some adjustments by motorists.

“Over the years there have been several signing and marking projects done and a lot of them didn’t make sense and meet current standards,” Wendt said.

The new system, developed by state engineers after a traffic study of the road, does not change the regulations which have also designated Highway 52 as the through street through the intersection.

But it does change the signage and what drivers are accustomed to seeing.

The stop signs on Highway 52 with the notations “right turn no stop” at the various intersections have been removed and in their place, the state has installed center lane lines through the 90 degree curves along with dotted, white lines marking the edge of the road.

“After we did a traffic study, we decided the signs were confusing and inconvenient and they did not meet current state standards,” Wendt said, adding the change creates uniformity across the state highway system.

“We took into account the state standards, safety and driver behavior,” Wendt said. “We had to come up with the most consistent and safest signage and marking.”

While some signs have been removed, others have been added, he said, including a notation that “traffic on Highway 52 doesn’t stop.”

Wendt said that state traffic laws require vehicles turning off a highway at an intersection to yield to oncoming traffic, so the signs are confusing and redundant.

“A driver turning left or going straight off Highway 52 at those intersections, crossing the center line, has to yield to traffic on Highway 52,” he said. “You have to do that whether there is a sign there or not.”

While the changes have been made, Wendt said the DOT will continue discussions to refine the process with county board supervisors and local officials.

“We’re definitely open to questions and concerns and will be talking to people,” he said.


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The Highway 52, and B/S intersection northeast of Antigo is sporting some new signs, which is causing motorists some concern.
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