Clintonville cannot afford to repave Airport Road
City may lower speed limit, downgrade to gravel
By Bert Lehman
What to do with Airport Road has been a question for Clintonville city officials.
Mary-Beth Kuester, the chairwoman of the Street Committee informed the Clintonville City Council at its meeting Tuesday, May 12 that the city received a letter from the chairman of the township next to Airport Road. Kuester said the letter stated the township had updated its part of the road and expressed concerns about the city’s portion of the road.
Kuester told the council the topic was discussed at the previous Street Committee meeting.
“Toby (Kersten, Public Works director), informed us that this road is very dangerous because it’s very bumpy and very narrow and nothing has been done with it,” Kuester told the council.
Kuester said Kersten told the committee it would cost $60,000 to repave the road. She said that was the most expensive solution.
She said one of the suggestions the committee discussed included making it a gravel road.
Kuester said she is also part of the Finance Committee, and at the committee’s last meeting, it was stated there wasn’t any money in the budget to make repairs to Airport Road. She said lowering the speed limit was discussed, as well as designating a weight limit on the road.
“Those were the only solutions we could come up with for that,” Kuester said.
She said the city is faced with letting the township know the city doesn’t have money to fix the road.
Kuester then asked Kersten for his comments.
“My idea is we need to either fix the road or cut the speed limit in half,” Kersten said.
Kersten said placing a weight restriction on the road wouldn’t do any good until after the road is fixed.
“Right now it does us no good to put a weight limit on the road,” he said.
Clintonville Police Chief Terry Lorge said he thought the city would have to obtain approval from the county before the speed limit could be changed. He added that changing the speed limit doesn’t change the fact the road needs repairs.
Lorge said after looking at the map, he said he thought the side of the road closest to the airport was in the city boundaries, and the other side was in the township.
“I think it was just for convenience that years back that at some point maybe the township and the city agreed to one jurisdiction would take care of the north half and the other would take care of the south half. We wouldn’t want Waupaca County to come and pave the outside lane and leave the other lane bad,” Lorge said.
Kuester suggested informing the township that the city doesn’t have any money to fix the city’s portion of the road, and proceed with lowering the speed limit.
Kersten also expressed concern that the road doesn’t have any shoulder gravel left.
“If you leave the roadbed, well, what used to be a roadbed, you’re in the ditch immediately,” Kersten said. “As you all know that ditch goes through a swamp area, it’s very soft, very wet. It’s just plain dangerous.”
Kersten said the $60,000 estimate included a gravel lift on the road, regrinding the existing pavement, and placing new pavement on top with new shoulder gravel on the outside of the road.
Kuester made a motion to inform the township the city didn’t have money to repair the road and it was pursuing lowering the speed limit.
The motion passed 9-0-1 with Alderman Brad Rokus abstaining.