The orange barrels are being rolled out for a road resurfacing project that will affect about a mile of State Highway 42 in Kewaunee for the next three months.
The state Department of Transportation is resurfacing the highway from Miller Street to Duvall Street on the north side of the city, including rehabilitation and deck overlays for the bridges over the Kewaunee River and the Ahnapee State Trail, DOT and construction company officials said during a public meeting about the project Tuesday evening at Kewaunee City Hall.
“We will start tomorrow (Aug. 1), and our contract completion date is no later than Oct. 26, so those are the locked-in, rock-solid dates as of right now,” said Brad Diener of Lunda Construction Co., the general contractor on the project, adding that weather and other factors can affect what happens in between those dates: “What I’m going to tell you is my plan, but God’s will is God’s will.”
The work involves milling (removing the old surface) and resurfacing of the existing asphalt pavement; deck overlays and repairs to the two bridges; sidewalk and curb ramps; spot improvements for storm sewer, curb and gutter, and lighting; signing and pavement marking. Sidewalks will be replaced and filled in on both sides of the highway south of the river, Diener said.
The first order of business will be completion of a storm sewer and holding pond later this week just south of the Kewaunee River bridge, and the actual road work will probably get underway Monday, he said.
Among the traffic impacts will be temporary stoplights that will regulate one lane of traffic over each bridge. The southbound lane will be replaced first, and around Labor Day traffic will be shifted to the new surface so crews can begin work on the northbound lane.
Kewaunee Fabrication workers will find a temporary no-left-turn sign as they exit their parking lot onto Highway 42, to minimize traffic backups resulting from the temporary traffic lights, Diener said.
Crews will be working 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays – they plan to ask the City Council for permission to start at 6 a.m. to reduce the exposure to late summer afternoon heat. Diener asked for the public’s help in making sure children and other people don’t wander into the construction zone during non-work hours.
“We are going to be knocking holes through the bridge deck, so I’d just appreciate the community’s eyes and ears when we’re not on the job site,” he said. “If they see especially children, who like to get inquisitive when they see construction equipment on a job site, if you happen to see children walking up on the bridge, or even adults, that we notify the police department and try to keep that to a minimum. The last thing we want is someone falling through a hole at 10 o’clock at night because they walked right through the barricades or the caution tape or whatever.”
Alderman Art Schiller asked what measures will be taken to protect the boats in the Kewaunee Marina – one dock is barely 20 feet from the river bridge (pictured above).
Diener said construction barges will serve as work platforms for the crew, and an overhang will be erected to catch any debris that may fall. Other residents’ concerns about sandblasting the bridge and protecting boats from the resulting dust are being addressed in talks among the city, DOT and Lunda, he said.
“We need to talk through it, and we’re working on it,” said Jeremy Ashauer, the DOT Northeast Region project manager.
The DOT has established a field office at 203 Ellis St., the former Kewaunee Enterprise building, and residents with questions and concerns can contact project leader Adam Gaugh at that address, 920-450-1835 or GaughA@AyresAssociates.com.
A project website has also been created to provide information on the project at https://projects.511wi.gov.wis42kew.
Monthly update meetings like Tuesday’s are planned.