Main Street nears completion
City of Waupaca plans Oct. 29 street party
By James Card
If construction goes according to schedule, Waupaca’s Main Street will be finished on Friday, Oct. 29.
The city plans to hold a massive street party that day.
“So far Mother Nature has been kind to us, but we don’t know when she’s going to throw a curveball,” said Public Works Director Justin Berrens.
According to Berrens, everything is on track and there should not be any unexpected delays. He does not see any bad weather creating any hold-ups as stormy weather earlier this year didn’t affect progress very much during the construction.
“Everything they pour needs about seven days of cure time so it gets enough strength. Once we have that cure time, we’ll pave the southbound lane. Then sidewalk crews will come back. We put sidewalks down Main but we have to put the crosswalks in and tie in the side roads,” said Berrens.
After that, there will be decorative work done between the curb and the sidewalk. The decorative concrete will be a charcoal color that will have cut patterns that are both aesthetic and are used as a technique to prevent cracking.
Light pole bases need to be mounted and trees will be planted.
Gerke Excavating out of Tomah is the main contractor doing the road construction. The contract is between the state of Wisconsin and Gerke. The deadline for completion is Oct. 31 and the company will be fined $1,000 by the state for every day the street is not open.
City Administrator Aaron Jensen said this is the kind of infrastructure project that might occur only once every 100 years.
“It’s certainly worth celebrating. There will be a lot of people that will be happy once it’s open. Not only because of the impacts this year but also last year with the pandemic. It’s been tough on business. It’s worth celebrating because you’ve got to remember this has been talked about and planned for about a decade. This is something that an unbelievable amount of work has gone into and this is the culmination of it,” said Jensen.
The Parks and Recreation Department is taking the lead on organizing the Oct. 29 celebration. The plan is to integrate the annual Halloween party that attracts around 500 people and blend it into the Main Street opening.
There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony and a speech from the mayor.
There are requests from Main Street businesses to expand their premises out onto the street for bands and outdoor dining and the Chamber of Commerce is helping to get approval for that.
Sheriff vehicles and fire trucks will be showcased, along with an airplane on a trailer brought over from the airport.
Currently, 26 downtown businesses are planning a trick-or-treating event. The city’s official Halloween trick-or-treat hours are from 5 -7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, so Waupaca-area kids can double up on their haul of candy this year.