State 67 summer road work planned

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLANS FOR THE reconstruction of State 67 through the city of Plymouth came under close scrutiny Wednesday by a crowd of around 50 people who attended a public information meeting held by the state Department of Transportation. — Review photo by Emmitt B. Feldner PLANS FOR THE reconstruction of State 67 through the city of Plymouth came under close scrutiny Wednesday by a crowd of around 50 people who attended a public information meeting held by the state Department of Transportation. — Review photo by Emmitt B. Feldner PLYMOUTH – The city will be split in half by a major road project this summer.

State Department of Transportation officials were here Wednesday to provide details of the State 67 reconstruction project scheduled to begin next month.

At the public information meeting in the fire department training room at City Hall, Project Manager Steve Brauer of the DOT told an audience of some 50 people that the work from the County PP intersection on the south side to Suhrke Road on the north side will likely last until sometime in November.

“We’re looking to start sometime in April,” Brauer said. “The work will be done in two different stages. They will be staged separately so traffic can get around easier in the city.”

The first phase will run from the Mullet River north through the Mill and Milwaukee street intersection and end just west of the Caroline Street intersection on Mill Street.

“We’re anticipating that work will be done roughly in mid-June,” Brauer told the c. Access to audience. businesses and

Work will residences in then move to the construction the section of zones will State 67 along be maintained Caroline and as much as possible, Main Streets he said. and north on The detour North Milwaukee routes will be: from Phase 1 Main to Suhrke (Mullet River Road. to Mill Street)

“If we start – County PP to that in June, Highland Avenue we’d be looking (County E) to wrap everything to Eastern Avenue up by (County C) November. It’s and Mill Street. going to be a Phase 2 long construction (Mill Street to season,” Suhrke Road) Brauer conceded. somewhere in there,” Brauer said – Western Avenue of the intersection work. (County C) to State 23.

The DOT will also be reconstructing That project is designed to increase State 67/County PP intersection and reconfiguring the intersection safety at the intersection. project – County ZZ to of State 67 and County It will include removing the embankment County Z. PP on the city’s south side. on the southwest corner Brauer emphasized that the

Brauer said that project will not of the intersection, flattening the contractor will notify emergency begin until after the first phase of hill on State 67 south of County services of construction disruptions the main State 67 project is done PP and repaving the intersection. as the project moves forward. from the Mullet River to Mill There will be official detours for “Just like access to all businesses Street. each phase of the work, although and properties has to be maintained, “If we start in June that will Brauer noted that they will mostly the same is true with emergency be done in August or September, be for truck and out-of-town traffi vehicles,” Brauer explained.

The work will include replacement of storm sewers, water lines and sanitary sewers in the street.

City Public Works Director Bill Immich explained that it will include replacement of lead services along State 67 from Mill Street north, part of an order from the state Department of Natural Resources for the city to replace lead services lines.

Replacing lead services lines from the streets to individual houses or buildings would be the property owner’s cost, Immich said, but the city will be offering the opportunity to coordinate that with the water main project.

“You don’t have to do it, but if you’re interested in getting a price there would be some cost savings to you,” Immich explained. Doing it later would add additional costs for replacing sidewalks and other related work.

The city will be contacting several local plumbers to get prices for individual property owners, Immich said.

“We need to know by mid-May, because we have to coordinate the work with this street project,” Immich told those in attendance who might be interested in replacing their lead service lines. years.

The people who build bridges and highways seem to agree with Olsen’s assessment that a crisis is at hand. The Wisconsin Transportation Association says it might be preferable to delay projects if a permanent funding plan isn’t found.

It’s also a property tax issue because municipal governments rely on state funds to help repair the 103,000 miles of road they supervise. Local property taxes are used when the state cuts back.

Walker’s efforts to gain the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 play an important part in his distaste for tax and fee increases this year. He has been staking out positions that could help him in Iowa, the first state that will be selecting delegates to the GOP national nominating convention.

Democrats are calling Walker’s proposed Wisconsin budget for the 2015-2017 biennium an “Iowa-caucus budget.”

Wisconsin governors are the most powerful in the nation because they have the constitutional power to “partially” veto material in appropriation bills. A Wisconsin governor can eliminate or reduce the amounts in budget bills.

But imposing a $1.3-billion borrowing plan cannot be done unilaterally with those veto powers.

On the other hand, Walker might gain some political advantage among Republican presidential hopefuls if he were to veto a gasoline tax and automotive fee-increase package. His backers could argue he is vetoing something even his own party had passed.

Some would suggest Walker’s opposition to transportation funding ideas shows he is ready for Washington. Efforts to permanently fund increases in the federal highway transportation fund have died on the political vine.

The last president to approve an increase in the federal gas tax was Ronald Reagan. On the stump he correctly labeled it a “user fee.”

Reagan is among Walker’s favorite historical figures. The governor notes that he and Reagan took on public employee unions. Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers and Walker gutted public employee unions in Wisconsin. Unlike the air traffic controllers, there was no strike situation in Walker’s move.

Walker contends that his anti-union efforts will convince foreign leaders that he is tough and decisive like Reagan.

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