Community Update: Public Works Projects Continue Important Reinvestment

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Public Works Projects Continue Important Reinvestment

The “drive” continues to ensure that our City put on its best “face” as a safe, efficient and accessible home for residents and destination for visitors. Annually we take on a series of public works projects designed to enhance our community’s appeal as a desirable place to live, work and play. Despite flat or declining state-aid payments for important transportation reinvestment, we continue to do what we can.

  • 1st Street North (200 feet North of Poplar Street to the City Limits)

Photo submitted by Public Works Dept. – New curb and gutter along 1st St. N. project was recently constructed.

Work on this project, which began on April 17, will result in adding a recreational trail along the Wisconsin River, the installation of underground utilities, and new asphalt pavement and curb & gutter from 200 feet north of Poplar Street to the City Limits. All underground work is complete on the first two blocks of the project, and work continues up 1st Street North, as city crews approach Pleasant View Drive. Base course gravel will be placed after all the subgrade material is placed and compacted. Contractors have completed the direct bore conduit and gas line on Shorewood Terrace. Work is currently about 50 percent complete, with completion expected by the middle of July.

  • 8th Street South & East Grand Avenue

Construction crews began work May 22 on this Federally-funded Highway Safety Improvement Program project, which is designed to modernize infrastructure, and increase motorist and pedestrian safety, at one of our busier traffic sites in our community. Work consists of replacing water and sewer mains, new pavement, curb & gutter and sidewalk, and new traffic signals. The entire intersection has been and will remain closed during construction, and both sidewalk and roadway detours have been set up. Traffic signals and pavement were removed throughout the first week of construction; new traffic signal and lighting circuit pull boxes and conduit were installed last week. In addition, the road base was placed and compacted, and underground utility work was completed. Placement of concrete pavement, curb and gutter began this week.

  • Mead Park Splash Pad

Photo by Tom Loucks/WRCM – A groundbreaking ceremony for a new Splash Pad took place in May.

After a festive groundbreaking ceremony on May 10, work begins in earnest July 1 on this recreational experience that promotes the health and wellbeing of neighborhoods and local residents. Anticipated completion is expected this summer or autumn of 2017.

Looking ahead:

Washington Street (8th Street North to 12th Street North)

Beginning sometime during the middle of July, this stretch of Washington Street will undergo a full reconstruction that includes replacing water, storm, and sanitary mains and laterals; installing new pavement, curb & gutter, sidewalk and driveway approaches. Project completion is expected by the middle of October.

Witter Field Aquatics Facility

With a mighty assist from the Mayor’s Youth Council, fundraising efforts have begun for this ambitious regional facility. But the process – and the project – begins with us … gifts are vital to the success of this project.

We’re accepting donations, please click here to find out how to donate.

Centralia Parking Lot

Work begins in August to reconstruct the Centralia parking lot. Construction includes replacing deteriorating concrete sidewalk and curb & gutter, and installing new asphalt pavement with a new driveway entrance at the south end of the parking lot on 3rd Avenue South to help alleviate existing entrance traffic problems at the intersection with Goggins Street. Project completion expected during the month of September.

East Side River Bank Trail

Thanks to a stewardship grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the City has moved forward to improve and stabilize this essential piece of our Downtown Revitalization Plan. The City is expecting to get permit approval from the DNR and Army Corps of Engineers late this summer, with a groundbreaking and anticipated completion in 2018.  The DNR also was impressed with proposed pedestrian safety and connectivity components that foster recreation and tourism, such as linking the recreational trail from East Riverview Expressway up to the Village of Biron, and from the former Elks Building south to the under-bridge Expressway crossing.

Watching the future of Wisconsin Rapids take shape before our very eyes is truly exciting. While there is work yet to be done, our progress even now is to help us put our best “face” forward.

Thanks for reading,

Mayor Zach Vruwink

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