Port’s north bluff sidewalk plan in limbo

Water main breaks prompt city to shuffle street repairs, possibly delay work on controversial walkways
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Port Washington Board of Public Works agreed last week to alter its four-year street improvement plan after just one year.

And the change may put in limbo the city’s plan to install sidewalks along Hales Trail to Upper Lake Park.

The city had expected to repair portions of Lakeview Avenue and several of the streets that intersect it next year, but instead will be concentrating its efforts on five streets on the west side of the city, the board agreed.

Public Works Director Rob Vanden Noven recommended the change after the city experienced a high number of water main breaks on those roads this winter.

“I’ve kind of shifted my focus to try and catch the streets with the most significant number of water main breaks,” he said.

The pavement on these streets is in poor condition, he said, adding he also considered their proximity to one another when making his recommendation.

The board agreed to repair Rogers Street from Melin Street north, where there have been 13 breaks over the life of the road; Summit Drive between Lincoln to Second avenues and Second Avenue to Portview Drive, where there have been 10 breaks; Garfield Avenue from Second to Fourth streets, where there have been seven breaks; Third Avenue from Garfield Street to the alley, where there haven’t been any breaks but the pavement is in poor shape; and Crocker Avenue from Grand Avenue to Melin Street, where there have been four breaks.

“Crocker is certainly one of our worst streets,” Vanden Noven said. “It’s been on my radar since I got here.”

The city has done so many water main repairs on Rogers Street that Ald. John Sigwart, a member of the board, joked that the entire main will soon be repaired even without a street project.

The city is expected to borrow $2.1 million for road projects in 2018 and 2019. This year’s roadwork is estimated to cost $1.4 million, leaving about $677,000 for next year’s projects.

But the estimated cost for the street repairs is $750,000 — about $73,000 more than is being borrowed — with another $655,000 in water main work that will be paid for through the water utility.

“That’s something we have to address when we do the borrowing,” Vanden Noven said.

The city also needs to address other projects in the borrowing, such as the Hales Trail sidewalk — something the council endorsed doing in 2019 when it considered this year’s street projects — sidewalk repairs and alley improvements, Vanden Noven said.

“Those are additional monies that would be needed,” he said.

 

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