Written by CAROL POMEDAY
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 16:24
Utility work is almost complete, but state DOT funding for 80% of the cost is still in question
New sewer and water lines on Main Street in the Village of Belgium are nearly completed, including replacements of private laterals.
The utility work was done in preparation for what officials had hoped would be the reconstruction of the street by the Ozaukee County Highway Department next year.
However, it appears that work, which will be a joint project between the village and the county, may not occur until 2014.
The village learned the Department of Transportation is not receiving applications for its surface transportation rural program, which would pay 80% of the cost for reconstructing the street, which is also Highway D.
“We’re still trying to get our application in to them, but I was told the state could take as long as September of next year to let us know,” Village President Richard Howells said.
“If they wait too long, we won’t be able to get our things lined up to get started.”
Ozaukee County Highway Commissioner Robert Dreblow said the project is too expensive to do without state funding.
The county and village would share the 20% local cost, Dreblow said.
The grant would cover reconstruction of the street and bicycle lanes, but decorative lighting costs beyond the cost of standard DOT lighting or burying utility lines is not covered, he said.
Although the street may not be done next year, the intersection of highways LL and D will be redesigned next spring as planned, Dreblow said.
“We broke that out as a separate project,” he said. “We will get that done next year.”
In addition to a four-way stop, which has already been put in place, turn lanes will be widened to accommodate the long semi-tractor trailers that use the intersection and some islands will be removed.
Stop signs hanging from trombone arms are also planned.
Temporary signs are currently in place.
A fatal accident at the intersection last year and numerous smaller accidents and near misses have prompted the project to be a priority.