Railroad permit still holding up Main St. work

Project at risk of not being completed in time
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Sept. 28 completion date for the second phase of Belgium’s Main Street reconstruction project could be in jeopardy.

Ozaukee County has been waiting for weeks to receive a permit from Union Pacific Railroad to be able to install storm sewer under the railroad crossing.

The state Department of Transportation initially didn’t think a permit was required, but later learned it is required since the area near the crossing is railroad right of way.

The county applied for a permit with the railroad and tried to expedite the approval process.

 That’s apparently not happening.

Director of Public Works Dan Birenbaum said at Monday’s Village Board meeting that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation representative that works with the railroad is having difficulty finding the status of the permit approval.

If the delay goes on too long, Birenbaum said, the project may not be done in time.

“My experience, Danny, when you’re dealing with the railroad, is just what you’re hearing,” village attorney Gerald Antoine said.

Birenbaum said he expects Frontier Communications to receive its permit this week, and We Energies already has its power underground and hooked up.

Work on the main storm sewer line, he said, should be completed by the end of the week.

Vinton Construction, the project’s general contractor, is planning to begin excavating the road in a couple of weeks, he said.

The project cost is $6.9 million. State and federal grants will 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 rate is 3.2562% on the 20-year loan.

The next public information meeting on the project is slated for 1 p.m. Thursday, June 28, at Village Hall.



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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
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