Expense of replacing sewer laterals, loss of space for shoveled snow cited
They say the devil is in the details, and it was those details that drew more than two dozen Village of Fredonia residents to an informational meeting last week on the pending reconstruction of Fredonia Avenue.
The residents came with questions about how the road project — which will run from Edmaro Street on the west to Highland Drive on the east — will affect their individual properties.
Village officials have asked that in reconstructing the road, the appearance remain as close to the existing conditions as possible.
Only three trees will need to be removed because of the work, including two maples on one property.
The road profile will not look significantly different from the current 36-foot-wide asphalt roadway. The major difference is that the existing 18-inch curb and gutter will be widened to 24 inches, making the total roadway width one foot wider to better accommodate drainage.
Still, the widening of the roadway by six inches poses a number of design challenges, engineers with Ayers & Associates told the audience.
The greatest of those challenges, according to Kristine Anderson of Ayers, will come in areas where buildings are especially close to the roadway.
“In most areas, the terrace will remain the same width but the sidewalks will be six inches wider and six inches closer to your front doors,” Anderson said.
Four-foot-wide sidewalks are planned along both sides of the road.
In the midst of a particularly brutal winter, the prospect of having less room to pile shoveled snow didn’t sit well with several residents.
Balancing that need with the village’s desire to preserve the look of the roadway has been no simple task, Trustee Don Dohrwardt said.
“What you need is a five-foot terrace, but we don’t have space without tearing down some houses,” Dohrwardt said.
Village President Chuck Lapicola said the village and engineering firm would be willing to work with property owners whenever possible to make slight design adjustments to accommodate needs.
Lapicola said that willingness to work with residents is also reflected in plans to accept deferred payments for sewer lateral installations in cases of financial hardship.
Public Works Director Roger Strohm said about 95% of the sanitary sewer laterals in the project area will need to be replaced, at an estimated cost of $25 a foot.
Older water lines that use lead pipe will also need to be replaced, Strohm said.
The village, however, will be paying for all costs to replace the sanitary sewer and water main in the road, as well installing new storm sewers. It will also pay for all new sidewalks along the road.
Lapicola said the village is still hopeful to have some of the overhead utility lines that currently run along the road relocated in conjunction with the project.
The community was divided on the question of paying to bury utility lines in a non-binding referendum two years ago.
“If we are ever going to do something about those lines, now is the time to do it. It will probably be another 35 years before we do this road again, so we will never get another chance in our lifetime,” said Trustee Jill Bertram.
Bids for the work are expected in May, but officials anticipate the job to cost about $2.2 million. Much of that cost will be shared with Ozaukee County because Fredonia Avenue is a county highway.
Several residents noted the cost is about half of what the Village of Belgium is expected to spend on the reconstruction of Main Street.
“Had we accepted state money, our project would have cost that much, too,” Lapicola said. “We would have had to meet state design standards, and would have had to buy a number of houses that they consider too close to the right of way.”
He said efforts will be made to minimize the inconvenience to property owners along the road. Utility work will begin in June, followed by the road reconstruction throughout the summer.
Final landscaping will be completed next spring.
“At first, it will be an inconvenience on access to the front of your house for a few hours, then the utility work will move down the road,” Dohrwardt said.
“When the road work starts, everyone is going to be inconvenienced for a while.”
The engineers said Fredonia Avenue will be kept open to local traffic as much as possible. Through traffic will be re-routed to Martin Drive.
“We have tried to make this as easy as possible for the residents of the village. Everyone knows we need a new street,” Lapicola said.
Another informational meeting for business owners along Fredonia Avenue is planned for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, March 17, at the Fredonia Government Center, 242 Fredonia Ave.