Tonight- 8th Street Corridor Open House highlights redevelopment concepts
The City of Wisconsin Rapids invites area residents to view community redevelopment concepts and discuss them with student creators, during the 8th Street Corridor Open House, on Monday, May 6. From 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point faculty and students will display and interpret mixed-use development, green infrastructure and other ideas in the Riverwalk Area of the Centralia Center, 220 3rd Avenue South,
Wisconsin Rapids has partnered with the Natural Resources Planning Capstone course from the UWSP College of Natural Resources. Dr. Anna Haines, Director of the Center for Land Use Education. The engagement enlisted five teams of three students each to concentrate on projects related to a “first impressions” assessment of Wisconsin Rapids; and on the future of the City’s 8th Street corridor and how it can be improved.
These students then brainstormed and sketched out concepts, emphasizing urban planning, systems and infrastructure, and sustainable development.
Lincoln Street/Expressway traffic safety upgrades: City and Kwik Trip collaboration
In what I would call a classic example of balancing community and commercial interests, the City of Wisconsin Rapids and Kwik Trip have continued to work together to continually address health, safety and quality-of-life concerns of residents and customers. More evidence for the success of this government-corporate collaboration is found in traffic safety enhancements incorporated around the convenience store-gas station located along East Riverview Expressway, between Lincoln Street and Sixth Street South.
Safety aspects reviewed included lane designations, sight distance, driveway locations, truck turning movements, existing signing and marking, crash data analysis, and impacts from the adjacent Daly Avenue and Lincoln Street intersection. Based on field observations, video data and measurements taken from Google Earth aerial imagery, a range of engineering options to improve safety and operations for the Expressway and Daly Avenue intersections have been instituted:
- The Riverview Expressway east and west approach median signal poles have upgraded signal heads that more clearly display drive-through and turn options.
- For southbound vehicles on Lincoln Street at the Riverview Expressway, the signal head on the overhead traffic signal and the far-left signal head have been upgraded.
- Cameras have been installed in the intersection for vehicle detection, replacing wire loops under the pavement.
- Existing signal equipment at the northeast corner was removed and reused in new locations to reflect City design and engineering upgrades.
- New concrete bases and conduit were upgraded.
- A new signal controller was upgraded.
A “No Left Turn” sign from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. every day (except Sunday) was installed at the northwest corner of Daly Avenue and Lincoln Street for southbound traffic on Lincoln Street, to prevent vehicles queuing/backing up near the Lincoln Street and Riverview Expressway intersection.
- The City performed and oversaw the installation of the eastbound left-turn arrow and phasing at Riverview Expressway. Kwik Trip paid 100 percent of the cost.
- The City paid for the upgrade to flashing yellow arrows for both westbound and eastbound left-turn signals at Riverview Expressway.
- Kwik Trip and the City will each pay 50 percent of the cost to restripe lanes this summer to modify the north and south legs of the Riverview Expressway and Lincoln Street intersection, providing left-turn lanes that improve the sight distance and turn radius for left-turning vehicles.
From the time of the initial proposal of this most recent store location in 2016 to now, Kwik Trip has willingly incorporated into its design, construction and operating plans recommendations from City, State and outside engineering professionals to mitigate potential traffic and noise issues. The company has also engaged with local residents and other stakeholders to address various concerns.
I thank Kwik Trip for being a valued corporate neighbor and partner in local redevelopment, displaying its ongoing willingness to resolve specific issues about safety and the preservation of community identity. The company’s positive response demonstrates a commitment to work with Wisconsin Rapids, as it expands its business profile and injects jobs and dollars into our area.