Public meeting provides updates for Stevens Street project
by Lori Adler, reporter
A public meeting on the Stevens Street project was recently held at city hall. Mark Barden of Town and Country Engineering presented an overview of what has been completed and what to expect in the future.
A great deal of work was accomplished during the 2019 construction season. According to Barden, 1.2 miles of Stevens Street has been completed this year, from Frederick Street to just past Dwight Street. Upgrades include new sanitary sewer, gas lines and curb and gutter, as well as two new traffic lights at the Dwight Street and Timber Drive intersections. An upsized storm sewer was also added to alleviate water ponding issues that have happened in the past.
Barden then explained that it’s important to note that the asphalt is a two-layer process, allowing for time in between each layer to address any potential problems with utilities. At this point, only one layer has been put down, which has created a 2-inch gap between the pavement and the curb. This will, however, be resolved when the surface layer is added next June.
Due to the early cold snap that hit the area in October and November, some of the concrete and asphalt work, affecting some residents’ driveways, was not able to be completed this fall. The contractor, Musson Brothers, has used some recycled material, which has been packed down to a smooth surface, in these spots to give people access to their driveways. Musson Brothers will monitor these areas throughout the winter, and affected residents have been provided with contact information should any issues arise.
Work on the project will resume in the spring with a tentative start of the sewer main between Dwight Street and Highway 17 planned for March. This area will receive all the same utility and storm sewer updates throughout the summer. Since this is more of a business area than the previous section of the project, two open lanes of traffic will be maintained at most times throughout the project.
Barden stated it is planned that all construction to Woodland Drive will be completed before Hodag Country Festival. During the actual festival, there will be temporary paved driving lanes in areas where work is not finished, and no construction will take place during the fest.
The entire project, all the way to Highway 17, is expected to be completed by the end of October 2020. Again though, this will only include the first layer of asphalt. The final layer will be laid in June or July 2021, taking approximately 3 weeks at that time to finish.
Barden stated, “Construction is inconvenient to residents,” adding that he hopes by continuing to provide the updates, he can “give people an idea of what’s coming their way.”
Another public meeting is planned for spring before construction starts up again, probably in February or March. In addition, during the construction season, updates are placed on the City of Rhinelander website (rhinelandercityhall.org) under the Public Works Department heading.
Barden encourages residents with concerns or issues related to the project to contact him or project manager Frank Brey at Town and Country Engineering at 715-420-0579.