A new, much-shorter detour has opened for car traffic on flood-damaged State Highway 13 between Ashland and Mellen.

The highway suffered major damage in flooding on July 11-12, including two major washouts near Highbridge. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Ashland County on Thursday opened a new detour for car traffic using County Highway C; the new route is about 40 miles shorter than the previous one. Repairs to flood damage along Highway C had to be completed before it was available to take detour traffic.

Weight limitations are in effect for the Highway C detour route; heavy truck traffic on Highway 13 still will be required to use the longer detour, following Highways 77, 51 and 2.

Bridges will be installed across the two washouts, with work slated to be complete by late November, Ashland County officials reported.

Meanwhile, work to repair a large washout on U.S. Highway 63 near Grand View in Bayfield County is running ahead of schedule, WisDOT reported Thursday.

State officials said the project is expected to be complete, and highway 63 reopened to traffic, sometime next week.