Crews start roadwork this week
By Scott Bellile
The Waupaca County Highway Department is digging into Division Street this week.
The $3 million reconstruction project, split between the city of New London and the county because the street is also County Trunk D, has been underway since spring. However, much of the work so far has been underground utility improvements performed by New London’s hired contractors.
As of Monday, July 9, city residents should begin seeing change on the street itself because county crews will start reconstructing the road.
Waupaca County Highway Commissioner Casey Beyersdorf brought members of the county’s highway committee to Division Street and walked through the plans for the coming months on Thursday, July 5.
County crews will remove all the curb and gutter, sidewalk and roadway from Beacon Avenue to Oak Street. They and Sommers Construction of Shiocton will spend the coming months replacing what was removed with new material.
From Oak Street to Beckert Road, county workers will mill the top 2 inches of the street and lay new pavement. This is not a street reconstruction because underground utilities were not altered.
A new sidewalk has been laid on the west side of Division Street from Beckert Road to the former Kenneth Johnson dentistry office. Donald Heise, an equipment operator for the highway department, said grass is about ready to be replanted where lawns were disrupted by the new sidewalk.
When the project concludes, the west side will have continuous sidewalk from Beckert Road to Wolf River Avenue. The east side will not have continuous sidewalk, but existing sidewalk will be reconstructed.
Approximately 48 trees were cut down in March for the construction project. The city of New London will plant replacements after the project is completed. Until then, Beyersdorf said the stumps will be ground up, not uprooted from the soil, to protect nearby utility lines.
Asphalt paving should begin in October, Beyersdorf said, and the project should conclude before the start of winter.
Work has gone well so far, Beyersdorf said. There were no major setbacks despite crews having to install an additional water main.
Waupaca County is not doing any reconstruction from Wolf River Avenue to Beacon Avenue because that stretch is not considered County D. The city hired Murphy Concrete & Construction to do that stretch.
Committee member Bill Jonely asked Beyersdorf if Waupaca County Highway Department could have been eligible to pave Wolf River Avenue.
Beyersdorf said a city of New London’s size cannot hire the county to do reconstruction projects.
“We can do maintenance, which is wedging and small paving projects, but the counties cannot do construction for a big municipality population exceeding 5,000,” Beyersdorf said.
Highway committee member Dick Rohan asked where the old concrete will go once it’s pulled out of the ground.
The concrete and asphalt will be hauled to Murphy Concrete & Construction, Heise said. The black dirt will be stockpiled at the New London Jaycees Dog Park, sent through a soil screener and returned to Division Street to be reused.