After two delays, and an original construction date of 2008, the Water Street reconstruction project in Platteville is on the verge of beginning. According to Howard Crofoot, director of public works for the City of Platteville, a bid opening for the project will occur in mid-March, with construction expected to begin in mid- to late-April.
There will be two projects occurring simultaneously. The urban portion will include Water Street, from just north of Pine Street to the city limits, near Golfview Drive. The rural portion will begin at the Platteville city limits and go to Livingston.
The urban portion will include the installation of traffic signal lights at the Main Street and Water Street intersection, the construction of a roundabout at Water Street and Madison Street, and the installation of a paved walking/bicycle path along Water Street from Madison Street on the east side to the city limits.
Currently, Platteville Police Department community service officers (CSO) serve as crossing guards at the intersection where the roundabout will be constructed. It's not yet clear how that intersection will be managed after the project is completed. "That's something we're evaluating and we want to see how traffic (especially bus traffic) manages the intersection," said Doug McKinley, Platteville police chief. "I'm not 100 percent sure right now, but I expect to find out that traffic and pedestrians will be more compatible and that we won't need to staff the intersection with a CSO or an officer before or after school anymore."
The project also includes upgrades to the water and sewer lines and replacement of culverts to the east of Water Street. The plan also includes widening a portion of Water Street and improving its alignment and site lines. New curb and gutter will also be installed on a portion north of Madison Street. A new sidewalk will be installed from Pitt Street, along Legion Park, north to Northside Drive.
"We hope and expect that the property owners will be happy with the way the street has been redone and the way they've taken care of their yards," said Crofoot.
The project is expected to be completed in the fall. "I think it will be a long, long project for everybody and I hope that everybody will be very patient," said Crofoot.
Crofoot expects the project will be completed in sections. Traffic traveling through the city will be detoured.
The state has purchased four properties in conjunction with the project: two at the intersection of Madison Street, one at the Mineral Street intersection and one at the Furnace Street intersection.
One final public informational meeting may be held before construction begins. That will be determined following the bid opening.