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Main Street sidewalk to be replaced PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 18:53

Portions don’t meet ADA requirements; residents will again lose access to their driveways in spring

Several portions of sidewalk on the Village of Belgium’s Main Street reconstruction project will be redone in spring after it was discovered they don’t comply with  the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
That means some residents will again be unable to access their driveways for as long as two weeks.
The Village Board on Monday unanimously approved replacement of sections that are not at the allowed elevation.
A total of 1,600 feet of sidewalk exceeds the legally allowed 2% slope by about 1/4 inch, Zenith Tech Area Manager Ted Helleckson told the board.
Belgium had two options to fix the sidewalk — either mudjack it or replace it, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, which administers the contract for the work.
Helleckson said MUDTeCH, a Dousman company that specializes in mudjacking, could shoot a grout into the concrete to bring the walkway to the correct slope.
That would, however, create holes in the sidewalk. Excess grout would be removed and replaced with concrete, Helleckson said.
He said another option is to use epoxy, but that doesn’t allow for as much control since it relies on a chemical reaction rather than a pressurized process. Helleckson preferred mudjacking.
The board didn’t buy any of it.
“That’s going to crack,” Trustee Pete Anzia said, and asked what kind of warranty the project would carry.
Helleckson said he expected a one-year warranty. It would be unlikely, he said,  that the DOT would keep the project open longer.
Anzia said if the concrete cracks beyond the warranty window, “the homeowner is going to be paying for it and they’re not going to be happy.
“We spent a lot of money on Main Street, and if I have something with holes ,no matter what size, in concrete, it ain’t going to look right.”
Village President Vickie Boehnlein agreed.
“From the minute I heard mudjacking, I was opposed,” she said.
Boehnlein said she has never seen mudjacked concrete in Wisconsin in which the holes haven’t popped up.
“Those holes pop up over time,” she said. “With the money we’re spending on this project, we don’t want either the homeowners or us to be replacing stuff in 10 years on a $6 million or $7 million project that should last for more than 10 years.”
Residents, however, already complained about the length of time they weren’t able to use their driveways during the project. Replacing the concrete would mean more time without driveway access.
“I do understand it’s going to be an inconvenience to the homeowners, but I think that in the long run they would rather have a good new sidewalk,” Boehnlein said.
“I agree totally,” Trustee Clem Gottsacker said.
Helleckson said replacement would require a few days to remove the concrete and a few days to pour the new pavement, and then time for the concrete to cure.
At most, he said, residents would lose driveway access for two weeks.
If any sod is impacted by the project, it would be taken out and put back, Helleckson said. The grass hasn’t yet taken root, so the same sod could be used.
Boehnlein confirmed the village would not pay for the work.
“Not us,” she said. “I’m not concerned about who.”
Helleckson said the project would likely start in May.
The Village Board in April unanimously approved borrowing $4.3 million for its portion of the Main Street reconstruction project.
Overall borrowing costs are $125,000 less than estimated, mostly due to securing a lower interest rate than expected. The true rate is 3.2562% on the 20-year loan. The winning bidder was Bok Financial Securities Inc. of Milwaukee.
The project cost is $6.9 million. State and federal grants pay 80% of the cost with the county and village splitting the remaining 20%.
Cost of the project increased from an early estimate of $4.2 million to $6.9 million. Given the updated cost estimate, the state at first balked at its commitment to cover 80% of the project.

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