Committees back proposal to expand Streetscape project north on Stevens Street
Work would affect block in front of Rhinelander library
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Rhinelander’s downtown Streetscape construction project could be expanded by another block on Stevens Street under a proposal receiving the backing Thursday of both the city’s Public Works and Water/Wastewater committees.
Stevens Street presently is closed for construction between Rives and King streets. The proposal, which was not part of the original Streetscape project, would expand north on Stevens Street to Frederick Street in the area where the Rhinelander Public Library is located.
Director of Public Works Tim Kingman said that block is in need of an upgrade and the current work taking place on Stevens Street would provide an opportunity to do the improvements.
The cost estimates he presented committee members note the work on that block would include upgrading the water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer utilities along with street replacement at a recommended total budgeted cost of $227,486.
Given the committees’ backing, Kingman said he will be presenting the proposal for final approval by the full City Council at its July 11 meeting.
He said work on that section on Stevens Street could begin around the middle of July.
The $9.7 million Streetscape project includes separating the existing combined sanitary and storm water sewers and upgrading both systems in the downtown area to eliminate the potential for sanitary sewer backups and also to help prevent the bypass of raw sewage into the Wisconsin River. Along with the new pavement, the work also involves increasing the width of sidewalks, planting trees and flowers and other beautification projects.
The project, which began in late March, has made it more difficult to access downtown businesses near the construction. The work is being done in stages with designated portions of streets closed and later reopened with the intent to make it possible for businesses to remain open during the construction. The city’s goal is to have functional streets by this fall. The final paving would take place in the spring of 2017.