Alexander Field breaks ground on latest improvements May 10
The role that Alexander Field-South Wood County Airport can play in helping to spur economic growth continues to attract attention at both the State and Federal levels.
A demonstration of that recognition was celebrated yesterday, May 10th. Along with airport management and other governmental officials, residents attended a groundbreaking ceremony that formally kicks off the latest round of improvements to promote safety and greater economic activity at Alexander Field-South Wood County Airport. View the groundbreaking here.
With the support of nearly $4 million from the 2017-2019 State of Wisconsin Biennial Budget, upcoming improvements include: apron expansion and reconstruction to increase aircraft parking capacity and safety; parallel taxiways to promote safer access to and from active runways, while reducing congestion; runway lighting and surface upgrades; and planning for development of a future corporate hangar area.
In addition, the Federal government has weighed in with $5.65 million in funding for the fall 2017 Taxiway B stormwater mitigation project; the widening and reconstruction of Runway 12/30 this spring; and the construction of Runway A during the spring of 2019.
As Sand Valley Golf Resort continues to expand, people from around the world are coming to central Wisconsin, and can see the potential our area offers for investment and development. The upgrading of Alexander Field-South Wood County Airport offers additional incentive for visitors to invest in our workforce and the area.
The timing of the May 10 airport improvement groundbreaking ceremony perfectly links to another event that ties together the assets that make our area a prime locale for opportunity and growth. That very morning, I was honored to kick off the Central Wisconsin Economic Development Summit at Hotel Mead. Hosted by the City and Regional Economic Growth Initiative (REGI), supported by Incourage and MSTC, the summit featured discussion panels on workforce development, central place innovation and regional opportunities.
Investment is happening all around us and it is certainly securing our economic future!
City begins upgrade of West Side Lift Station/River Crossing
As the City of Wisconsin Rapids continues its march toward revitalization, we recognize the essential role that modern and sustainable infrastructure plays as a foundation of economic growth. That is why I, along with other municipal officials, eagerly anticipate construction on the new West Side Lift Station and the Wisconsin River Crossing force main, which began early this month. These upgrades will allow for the continued reliable transport and processing of wastewater, while protecting the environment.
Project update here.
Originally constructed as the City’s first wastewater treatment facility in 1936 and converted into a lift station in 1971, the lift station, at 1911 Gaynor Avenue, serves the wastewater needs of the entire west side of the City. The facility pumps sewage to the East Side located Wastewater Plant and processes more than 1.5 million gallons of wastewater per day.
Key upgrades will include: four pumps to provide redundancy in the event of a pump failure; new backup power generation; and five times more wet-well storage capacity to prevent backups should a failure occur. Just as now, the upgraded facility will pump wastewater at higher elevation, thus avoiding the excessive excavation depths and high sewer construction costs required by a traditional gravity conveyance.
The Wisconsin River Crossing force main carries water, sewage and other materials. This improvement places the main under the riverbed, which eliminates the need to dig trenches. This will avoid costlier excavation equipment and trench-shoring techniques.
The new overall infrastructure will result in life expectancies of 80-100 years for the river crossing force main, 50-80 years for the lift station structure and 20-40 years for lift station equipment. This ensures safe and reliable transport and processing of wastewater for generations to come.
The City received funding for this reconstruction project through a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Clean Water Fund Loan, which includes $700,000 in principal forgiveness. City officials anticipated and included this project and its costs in the City’s 2016 wastewater rate study, identifying and spreading out the impacts on wastewater user rates. The entire project cost is $7.7 million!
We are proud to see the beginning of these important projects, and look forward to their completion. For ongoing updates regarding these projects, we encourage citizens to visit www.wirapids.org, or call Wastewater Superintendent Ryan Giefer at 715-252-5123.
Thank you for reading,
Mayor Zach Vruwink