Construction scheduled for 2019
By Angie Landsverk
The city of Waupaca is seeking grants to help fund the cost to reconstruct Evans Street.
The project, from Churchill to Berlin streets, is estimated to cost $1 million, said Justin Berrens, the city’s public works director.
That estimate includes design, construction, sidewalk, storm sewer improvements, bike lane, improvements to the intersection at Evans and Churchill streets and a contingency, he said.
The city has earmarked about $650,000 in its capital improvement program for the project, and the cost of new sidewalk would be assessed 100 percent to the property owners, he said.
The recommendation is to add sidewalk on the north side of Evans Street.
The project is scheduled to be designed in 2018 and constructed in 2019.
“It’s just over half a mile,” Berrens said. “Just redoing the paving will be costly. That’s why we’re looking at other funding sources.”
Earlier this month, the common council authorized Berrens to apply for two grants to help cover that cost.
One of them is the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP).
The other is the DOT’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant.
When the common council met on Dec. 19, Berrens provided an update on the process.
He said the application for LRIP funding has been submitted, and the TAP grant application is due in January.
LRIP funding would cover about 50 percent of the project’s total cost, Berrens said.
The TAP grant would cover 80 percent of the project related to the sidewalk and the bike lane, he said.
The reconstruction project was the subject of a public informational meeting last fall.
During that meeting, the city presented four alternatives.
The options ranged from paved shoulders on both sides of the street (much like it is now) to sidewalks on both sides of it.
Andrew Dane, an urban planner at SEH in Appleton, assisted the city during the meeting and is also helping with the grant applications.
He told the common council two things jumped out during the public informational meeting.
One of them was safety.
“Several people gave testimony about nearly getting hit on the road,” Dane said.
The second thing was residents want the best possible project, while also fitting within the city’s constraints, he said.
The alternative being recommended is described as a rural/urban option.
It would have two 11-foot lanes, a 5-foot wide sidewalk on the north side, 5-foot bike lane and 5-foot wide shoulders.
Berrens said everything in the grant applications will be based on this option.
Ald. Scott Purchatzke likes the idea of adding sidewalk on the street, but said doing so on just one side of it means only the property owners getting sidewalk on that side would be assessed for the improvement.
He questioned the fairness of it.
Berrens said if the city were to add sidewalk on both sides of Evans Street, it would have to purchase right of way.
“In the Sidewalk Ordinance, the preference is on both sides,” he said.
If there is going to be sidewalk only on one side of a street, the recommendation is on the north or east side, Berrens said.
He also noted Evans Street will be part of a detour next year when the bridge on Berlin Street is taken out.
That means there will be a lot of traffic on Evans Street during that time period.
Berrens said that is why the city is aiming for a 2019 construction time period on Evans Street.