Most visible Port project includes well-traveled streets around high school
With the approach of Memorial Day comes the beginning of summer — or, if you prefer, construction season.
Nowhere will that be more evident than around Port Washington High School, where crews will begin work on Holden, Jackson and Van Buren streets almost as soon as classes end this year.
City officials plan to create an inviting entrance to the school, adding trees and green space in the parkway and bumpouts intended to help slow traffic and aid pedestrians.
Motorists got a taste of what’s to come this week as the gas company began replacing mains along Holden Street between Van Buren and Pierre Lane.
“They’re replacing their gas mains prior to our project,” Public Works Director Rob Vanden Noven said.
The high school street project will begin in earnest on June 9, he said, when a crew will begin to line the sanitary sewer.
That same day, water main replacement work will begin on Benjamin Street between Theis Lane and Norport Drive, Vanden Noven said.
The water main work is expected to take about two weeks, after which reconstruction will take place on Benjamin Street, he said.
At the same time, water main work is expected to begin on Holden Street, Vanden Noven said. Following that, storm sewers will be installed and then the road reconstruction will begin.
As part of the project, the city will eliminate the Holden Street entrance to the student parking lot and replace it with a second entrance on Van Buren Street. The city also plans to close one of two Holden Street entrances to the teachers’ lot.
Doing this will help direct traffic onto Van Buren and Jackson streets and eliminate some congestion as students are dropped off and picked up from school, officials said.
Crosswalks with bumpouts will be installed in two places along Holden Street, and the two crosswalks at the corner of Holden and Jackson streets will be reconfigured into one large, wedge-shaped crosswalk.
The work around the high school will be completed by Aug. 29 — just in time for school to start up again.
To accommodate summer activities at the high school — everything from summer school to athletic practices — contractors are required to provide access to the teachers’ lot in front of the high school at all times, Vanden Noven said. Depending on where crews are working, traffic will be allowed on Jackson or Holden street to accommodate this, he said.
“Will you be able to drop your child off at the front door every day? No,” he said. “But you’ll always have access to some portion of the campus.”
Although the contractor, Wood Sewer and Excavation of New London, has yet to give him a complete schedule for the summer work, Vanden Noven said, he expects construction crews will begin work on Van Buren Street east of Webster Street sometime after June 23. Six weeks have been allotted for this portion of the project.
Almost no utility work needs to be done there, he said, because most of the houses are served by sewer and water mains on the north-south streets in the area.
When that work is completed, no parking will be allowed on Van Buren Street from Wisconsin Street to Harrison Street, and parking will only be allowed on the north side of Van Buren west of Harrison Street, Vanden Noven said.
Crews will also reconstruct Milwaukee Street between Jackson and Walters streets — a project expected to take 11 weeks. It must be completed by Sept. 26, Vanden Noven said.
Prospect street and court will also be reconstructed this summer. Vanden Noven said six weeks have been allotted for this work, which also must be done by Sept. 26.
After he receives a final schedule for the road projects from the contractor, residents of the affected areas will receive a letter outlining the schedule, Vanden Noven said.