Community Update – City Construction Project Update

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City Construction Project Update            

Now entering the first week of June (already!), City crews have begun working on planned construction projects throughout the City, with some already nearing completion.  Many variables affect the construction season- most obvious, the weather, both inclement as well as what we’ve experienced this year, a later and wet spring.  There are also, of course, those unforeseen circumstances outside of weather that we must work to adapt to.  As construction has begun on some of these projects, residents have inquired as to the status of the construction projects, and what to expect in the coming months.  In this week’s, Community Update I aim to highlight City street construction and improvement activity that is taking place over the summer, as well as preliminary planned activities through 2019.

Concrete Pavement Patching 

For those who drive the City’s main thoroughfares, the most obvious activity is the pavement patching of roads.  At this point, concrete pavement patching has been completed on 8th Street South and E. Riverview Expressway (between 12th St. S. and 16th St. S.).  Concrete pavement patching will begin the week of June 9 on W. Riverview Expressway between 2nd Avenue S. and Chase Street. The City utilizes contractors for this work.  The typical life of our streets is 30 years, with some streets lasting 50-60 years with proper maintenance.  Over the road’s life, our typical streets require some crack filling beginning about three years after it is built and then again at six years of life.  Chip sealing then will take place after about fifteen years, repeating the process every five to seven years after the first chip seal in order to maximize our streets’ service life.

The Cost of street maintenance is expensive, and locally funded through property taxes, state transportation aid and possible grant funds.  Funding costly street maintenance repairs early avoids costly accelerated costs in the near future.  With property tax levy limits, we as a City have challenged ourselves to find ways to create a sustainable street maintenance/replacement program, and incorporate those planned activities. Rapid Improvement, the city’s operational improvement initiative, and Activity Based Budgeting are two such connected ways to achieve a balanced maintenance and reconstruction program that continuously improves.

Knowing preventative maintenance is the key to avoiding costly accelerated maintenance due to degradation of our streets, the City continuously seeks out ways within our means to keep our infrastructure healthy and sustainable for generations to come.

Construction Projects

If you’ve driven near the Hotel Mead on East Grand Avenue or Jackson St, you’ve likely seen the photoconstruction taking place.  Currently, City crews are reconstructing 4th Street between Oak Street and E. Grand Avenue.  The intersection of 3rd Street and E. Jackson Street should be graveled and open to traffic around June 11.  Curb and gutter and sidewalk installation will follow shortly after.  In the same area, crews are working on the 1st St reconstruction/Baker St intersection and roundabout by the Wood County Courthouse.  The concrete work has been
completed and asphalt paving has begun today!  Completion of this project is expected on or before June 26 in which the road will be formally opened following a ribbon cutting. This is a Wisconsin DOT project and subsequently completed with State Transportation and local funding.

Following the completion of the Oak/3rd/E. Jackson street project, City crews will begin reconstructing 10th Street between Saratoga Street and Peach Street, with an anticipated completion date in August. Beyond the very poor pavement conditions, the existing water main, constructed prior to 1950, is only a 4 inch main, well below today’s minimum fire flow standards. More information on this project can be found here.

For Wisconsin DOT projects, consulting engineers have been selected for the design of the project to reconfigure the pavement marking for left turn lanes and convert the traffic signals to traffic actuated at the intersection of 8th Street South and Chestnut Street.  Construction is planned for 2015.  Additionally, the project to reconstruct the intersection of 8th Street South and E. Grand Avenue has been awarded. A design consulting engineering firm is planned to be selected in July- construction is planned for 2017.

Following the passage of the speed limit increase on 2nd Avenue, improvements have been discussed to address traffic concerns. The redesign of 2nd Ave S between the Riverview Expressway and the roundabout to improve traffic flow is being studied by the Wisconsin DOT. Construction is tentatively scheduled for 2018.  Finally, the reconstruction of E. Grand Avenue between 3rd Street and 8th Street has been awarded STP Urban funding in the 2013-2018 program cycle for design and reconstruction. A design consulting engineering firm is planned to be selected in July- Construction is anticipated in 2019. The following is an inclusive list of all planned 2014 projects:

Bike Paths: 1st St N, Veterans Park, E Jackson St to Love St., E Jackson St to E Grand Ave

Building Improvements: City Hall Police Parking Lot

Concrete Pavement Repair: E. Riverview Expressway, 12th St. S. to 16th St. S., 12h tSt 5 to 16th St S.

Developers Projects: Klevene Ct, Cul-de-sac to 15th Place S., Cul-de-sac to 15th Place S.

Downtown Projects:: Oak St.,  4th St, Oak St.  to E. Grand Ave.,

Rapids East Commerce Center: 52 Acres East of 48th St. Site, RECC, Filling Site

Street Reconstruction Projects: 17th Ave. N, 15th Ave, West Grand Ave. to former RR tracks, W Grand Ave. to High St. (2 prop.)

Traffic Control Installations: LED Traffic Signals, Pedestrian LED Flasher, LED Traffic Signals, Detector Loop Addition, 6th Ave and W. Grand Ave., 10th Ave and W. Grand Ave., 8th St. S and Kuhn Ave., South 54 and CTH W

Watermain Projects: 10th St. S., 17th Ave. S., Peach St.. to Saratoga St. Carey St.,  Water Break/Sewer Repair

Wis DOT Projects: Clyde St., Washington St., 8th St South Pedestrian Signal, 3rd St. to 4th St., Port St. to Lincoln St., South 54 to 28th St. N., 8th 5t South & Grove Ave.,  Intersection Safety Improvements,8th St South and E. Grand Ave Consult Design,  2nd Ave South

It will undoubtedly be a busy summer of street repairs and construction projects here in Wisconsin Rapids.  We thank everyone for their patience and support as we make all of the above improvements to our City.

Thank you for reading,

Mayor Zach

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