Downtown Waupaca road work set to begin March 29
By Angie Landsverk
The reconstruction of Waupaca’s Main Street is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 29.
“It’s been a long way coming. We’re looking forward to getting this project started,” said Director of Public Works Justin Berrens.
He made the comment during the city’s March 11 public informational meeting about the work.
The project – from Badger to Water streets – is broken into two phases.
The first phase is from Fulton to Water Street.
The project begins with a three-day closure of Main Street’s intersection with Fulton Street on Monday, March 29; Tuesday, March 30; and Wednesday, March 31.
Adam Gasser said during those three days, some of the sanitary sewer will be replaced to lay the groundwork for the north end of the project.
Gasser is a project manager at Gerke Excavating Inc. in Tomah.
The reconstruction of four blocks of Main Street is a Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) local program project, Berrens said.
This means the DOT has had oversight of the project since the beginning and will continue to have it through construction, he said.
Gerke Excavating was hired through the DOT process, Berrens said.
Once the initial sanitary sewer work is completed at the intersection of Main and Fulton streets, the intersection will be patched up with temporary asphalt and reopened, Gasser said.
Main Street will then close, from north of Fulton Street to the north end of the project, he said.
The asphalt pavement will be removed, and the sanitary sewer, water and storm water will all be replaced.
Once the utilities are replaced, grading work will begin to prepare for the new street, sidewalk and curb and gutter.
All will be concrete.
Fulton, Main intersection
There will also be a three-week period this spring when the Fulton Street intersection is closed again for work.
That is expected to begin in early May.
Berrens said concrete work takes time.
“They will be working long hours, starting first thing in the morning,” Berrens said.
He said the company’s crew may work well into the evening.
Those who want to visit North Main Street businesses or who live in that section are encouraged to use the parking lots on Granite and Cooper streets, he said.
“The goal is to have that part done by the middle of July,” Gasser said of the first phase.
Berrens reminded those attending the virtual meeting that the downtown traffic signals will be replaced with stop signs as part of the project.
When Main Street, north of Fulton Street, opens back up, the intersection of Main and Granite will also be a four-way stop, he said.
After the first phase is completed, Gerke Excavating will move to the section of Main Street, between Fulton and Badger streets.
The intersections at Badger and Union streets will be closed, Berrens said.
He said Washington Street will be the primary way traffic moves during both phases of the reconstruction project.
When work is taking place on Main Street, parking will not be allowed on the street, Berrens said.
The city will keep pedestrian access open on the sidewalks as long as possible, he said.
People wanting to visit businesses, City Hall and the library are encouraged to use the parking lots behind City Hall and by the police department during this phase.
The library will continue to offer its curbside service in the City Hall parking lot throughout the project.
City Administrator Aaron Jenson said city employees will park in the lot by the former St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church.
Maps have been created for every downtown parking lot, he said.
Each will have a QR Code, so people may scan it for updates.
Jenson said there have also been discussions about having something like a utility terrain vehicle available to help transport people who have problems walking from the parking lots.
Berrens said there will be sandwich boards downtown indicating where to find parking and also where there is pedestrian access.
Businesses planning to open their back entrances to the public should let the city know.
“We have no problem sharing that information throughout the process,” Jenson said.
The city’s communication plans includes weekly updates about the project via email.
Click on www.cityofwaupaca.org/downtown2021/ to sign up for them.