Main Street sequel is underway

Crews getting off to an earlier start is expected to translate to completion by the end of September
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

Orange cones returned to the Village of Belgium as the reconstruction of Main Street has begun.

The plan was to close the road Tuesday morning, after weeks of pre-work.

 The second phase of the project runs from Beech Street west to Lilly.

About 20 people attended a public information meeting on April 25 to hear some of the details.

Vinton Construction, the same company that led the first phase, is the general contractor of the project.

“If anyone is curious, we do not have the same concrete contractor,” project superintendent Tom Amon of Vinton said.

The phase 1 contractor had to redo portions of the sidewalk because elevations didn’t meet the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Some residents were concerned about fire protection, namely during work on the railroad crossing.

Belgium Fire Chief Dan Birenbaum said if the railroad is closed, a truck and rescue squad will be placed on the west side of the village to provide service there. He said the department has volunteers who live on both sides of the tracks.

If the railroad tracks are closed, residents must take the detour route.

One of the biggest priorities, Vinton said, is to keep the road open for trucks going to and from Lakeside Foods. When the company’s driveway gets poured, he said one half will be done at a time to keep one side open all the time.

Local residents, Vinton said, should be able to travel the road at all times.

“If you noted when we were working last year, every night when we get done, everything is filled up and you can drive on the gravel,” he said.

During the day when work is being done, he said to be patient and wait for a crew member to wave drivers through.

As with the first phase, notification of when crews will be pouring concrete near people’s homes — and causing them to lose access to their driveways — will be done via notes on the front doors of houses.

Village President Vickie Boehnlein suggested residents who don’t use their front doors to check for notes and to scope out possible parking spots ahead time so they know where to put their vehicles when their driveways aren’t accessible.

Vinton said access to driveways could be prohibited for up to two weeks as concrete cures on the curb, sidewalk and aprons.

Boehnlein said Luxembourg Fest has changed its parade route due to the project, and she hopes the street won’t be torn up too much during the village’s annual rummage sale on May 12.

The project completion date is Sept. 28, much earlier than the November date for the first phase.

That, Boehnlein said, is because pre-work wasn’t done as early for the first phase and crews didn’t start until summer. The cost estimate for the project ballooned from $4.2 million to $6.9 million, and in order for the state to maintain its 80% funding level work to be done over two years instead of one.

“The first portion of project delayed because of legal issues with notifications and getting easements and all that,” she said. “There are timelines that have to be followed. Since coming in a year earlier was not part of the original plan, everything was very rushed last year. Shouldn’t be the case this year.”

Another delay isn’t expected to occur this year, either.

The light poles, which came in weeks later than expected for the first phase, are already ordered, Vinton said.

“Somebody’s going to be in trouble if it takes longer this time,” Boehnlein said.

Vinton said crews will start with sewer work from Beech Street to the railroad tracks, which he expected would last most of May. After that, work on the west side of the railroad tracks will begin.

Peggy Stucky of M Squared Engineering is again the project engineer. Her office is at 650 Main St.

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%.

The Village Board in April unanimously approved borrowing $4.3 million for its portion of the Main Street reconstruction project. It is paying more than 10% because of upgraded street lights and burying power lines.
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.

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494
 

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