Rhinelander Streetscape project slated to wrap up for 2016 in late October
Downtown construction final cost presently estimated at more than $10.2 million
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Rhinelander’s downtown Streetcape project is in the final weeks of construction for 2016 and should be wrapping up for this year by the end of October, city public works director Tim Kingman reported Monday.
“The end goal here is by the end of the month it will be all sealed up with all our roads and sidewalk,” he said. “It still appears we’re on track with doing that. We’re a little later than what we thought we’d be because of the weather we received in the last two to three weeks. In general, the project is going along well.”
Kingman also informed the city’s Public Works Committee that “a lot of paving” work would be done this week with South Brown Street being paved.
Public Works and Water/Wastewater Committee members heard an update on the budget and funding allocations for the Streetscape project from Eugene Laschinger, a project engineer with Town and Country Engineering.
When including all the change orders for the downtown construction work, particularly when adding a block to the project on Stevens Street between Rives and Frederick Street, Laschinger reported a projected final cost for the Streetscape project of $10,207,154.59, which is $382,538.59 above the original budgeted amount.
“Now that’s what we have put together – a very conservative estimate – what it’s going to be for (the projected) final,” he said. “The only thing I could tell you, if we knew what we knew today, it would probably be a couple hundred thousand dollars less than that. But we’ve got some contingencies in there, because still things can happen.
“Granted, we’ve got all the underground work done. To my knowledge, we’ve got most of the basements taken care of, which is a huge unknown, and that has been very, very good. There’s a cost with it, but it could have been a heck of a lot worse.”
The figures Laschinger presented project 100 percent of the budgeted grant and loan monies would be used, while the city’s share is listed as having the deficit. He called extending the Streetscape project a block on Stevens Street for about an extra $350,000 “a very good decision.”
“When I was here about a month ago on a Sunday, I was driving through, I stopped and I go, ‘Boy, that looks nice cleaning up that one extra block,’” he said. “I commend you for making that change.”
Laschinger told committee members Town and County would likely present another update on the Streetscape budget and funding allocations in December when everything except the final surface work should be completed.
The Streetscape project, which began in late March, includes separating the 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, installing decorative lighting, planting trees and flowers and other beautification projects.