Thursday, February 26, 2009

In Wisconsin, There’s Winter And…

…many people say, construction season. On the AirVenture grounds, though, our construction went through much of the winter and is ready to pick up again in March. Not so much today, though, as we're expecting about six inches of snow, maybe mixed with sleet.

We’ve set some of the new locations for longtime facilities that were moved after AirVenture 2008. Some of the other places are still waiting for their exact addresses, but we’ll be catching everyone up on those as they happen.

The International Visitors Tent will be occupying the grassy area between the new control tower and Waukau Ave. That is just across the street from Press Headquarters. It’s the 35th year for the International Visitors Tent at the fly-in, too, and it’s a valuable area that provide interpreter services and a little additional friendliness to those people from more than 60 nations who make the trip to Oshkosh each year.

One building that will be disappearing is the aircraft registration building along Wittman Road, formerly located near the IAC headquarters and one of the food stands. Those who park their airplanes on the flight line had used this registration station much less frequently in recent years. The resources can be better used in other areas. If you used that building to register your aircraft, fear not: You’ll still be able to register just as quickly in the homebuilt or vintage (showplane camping) areas nearby.

Some of these changes will affect our volunteers. We don’t want to catch anyone by surprise, so our Convention Headquarters staff has been calling and writing the chairmen of those areas to let them know what is happening, even if their area isn’t directly affected. There will be plenty of changes to the grounds, so getting the information out as much as possible is important.

One other meeting I had this week — yes, even at EAA one can’t escape going to meetings — was with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The state is planning a major reconstruction of U.S. Highway 41, the major route that runs right past EAA through Oshkosh, beginning in 2010. That project will last through 2014 in the Oshkosh area and 2015 in the Green Bay area.

You may see some preliminary work this year around the Lake Butte des Morts bridge at the north end of town during AirVenture 2009. That bridge will be expanded, so early grading work will be started this year. It shouldn’t hold up vehicle traffic to any great extent, though.

Even though the project in 2010 and beyond will make some pretty big changes to Highway 41, the state has always been quite understanding of the traffic in the area during the fly-in. Right now, that’s still a ways off. We have plenty to do right here to get ready for AirVenture 2009!

1 comment:

D. Frank said...

great, looking foward to that beauty of a traffic jam, i just hope that WDOT has the sense to stop construction after the air show for better traffic control. dealing with the traffic flow out of there on any given day is enough of a challenge in itself. this will make it a little more intresing next year.