Road construction season underway in the Coulee Region

La Crosse County employees work on County Road SN for their major summer road construction project. County officials hope to finish the project by mid-September

LA CROSSE CO., Wis. (WEAU) -- Before the summer season begins Friday, another season has just kicked off.

Road construction season.

Both the city of La Crosse and La Crosse County are underway on this summer's projects.

The County Highway Department tries to build roads that last 30 years.

"If a person is inconvenienced this year, three years out they'll be inconvenienced a little bit with some crack filing. Five, six year point we'll be seal coating it. Ten to 15 years we'll be looking to put an overlay on it and then back to crack filing and seal coating. Really this is a minor inconvenience when you look at the scope of time," said La Crosse County Highway Commissioner Ron Chamberlain.

The major project the county is working on is County Road SN between Onalaska and Holmen.

Projects the city of La Crosse are working on include 3rd street in downtown La Crosse and Losey Boulevard.

Due to the long winter and wet spring, cities and counties around Wisconsin are backed up on their road construction season.

Meaning they're playing catch-up for the next few months.

"Super wet spring doesn't help, the winter was especially hard on local roads. So the other dynamic is that it adds to the long and growing list of what needs to be fixed," said La Crosse County Board Chair Tara Johnson.

La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat says fixing and maintaining roads is essential for local communities.

"Our infrastructure really is the foundation for all of our economy. So the private sector relies obviously on a very strong public infrastructure whether you're talking streets or utilities to move their product, to move customers, to move services in and around the city," said Kabat.

Johnson agrees that road construction is critical, but says the county isn't doing as much as they can because the state has no long-term funding solution.

"$120 million in unmet road needs right now for La Crosse County alone. So we could be doing more and the private industry road crews could be doing more if there was more revenue," said Johnson.

The county hopes to wrap up their road projects by September and the city of La Crosse by November.