The beginning of spring coincides with the beginning of road construction and people can expect to see orange barrels sprouting up before long.
The City of Kenosha has 728 total lane miles of streets, and those streets need periodic resurfacing, and at times, complete reconstruction. Maintaining the streets and other city infrastructure has been one of my top priorities as mayor.
In 2021, the city has budgeted $35 million in infrastructure projects and $23.5 million for storm water utility projects.
The city rates the roads as one criteria to help determine which ones are next in line for improvements. The ratings are based on the condition of the roads, but other factors also are considered such as average daily traffic and access to locations including schools and hospitals.
Major road rebuilds
Three major streets in Kenosha are in the midst of complete reconstruction, spread out over several years: 22nd Avenue, 30th Avenue and 60th Street, with a combined budget of $18.7 million for those projects this year. One-way traffic will be maintained throughout the construction zones from April to November.
The Kenosha Water Utility is completing investigative efforts, preventative maintenance, replacement and enhancement to sanitary sewer and water infrastructure in advance of many City of Kenosha capital improvement projects. The status of the projects are updated on the city website, so citizens may be advised how to best avoid construction zones – or find detours. Visit:https://www.kenosha.org/departments/public-works/projects-maps
Work began in 2018 on reconstruction on all of 22nd Avenue within the city limits. The project is being done in phases, with completion scheduled for 2026. This year’s phase is Washington Road to 27th Street and includes upgrades to traffic signals at 27th Street and 35th Street.
On 30th Avenue, this year’s reconstruction will be from 52nd Street to 40th Street, with future sections addressed through 2025. Work in future years will include safety improvements with Wisconsin Department of Transportation funding to address the intersection at Washington Road.
The 60th Street project began in 2018 and will continue through 2023. In 2021, the focus is on the section from Pershing Blvd. to 41st Avenue. Sections from Green Bay Road to 55th Avenue, and also 41st Avenue to 38th Avenue already have been completed.
Our beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline takes a beating during storms, which erode the coastline. Part of our infrastructure plans must include protecting against damage caused by crashing waves. The City has invested $16 million in shoreline erosion control since 2015 with revetment projects — shoring up the land with rock to prevent further loss of land to Lake Michigan.
This year’s project is at Navy Memorial Park at the harbor, across Sixth Avenue from City Hall. Work is expected to begin in April and be completed by the end of June. Similar revetment work was completed in 2019 at Kennedy Park; and at Southport Park in three phases from 2015-20.
Storm water basins
Other infrastructure areas include the construction of storm water basins to help reduce problems with flooding — which are much more common in older neighborhoods. Newer developments are required to have storm water management plans.
Work began in May 2020 on the $5 million Kenosha Engine Plant Storm Water Basin project. The basin will serve the redevelopment of the Chrysler site and also will benefit surrounding neighborhoods with their future storm water improvement needs. The pond and associated storm sewer is fully completed and restoration work will be completed by spring.
Last year the city completed a similar project with the Georgetown basin, which helps reduce flooding near Pick ‘n Save on 75th Street and in the neighborhoods north of Pick ‘n Save and south of 67th Street. Engineers will work this year on design and construction plans for a $10 million storm water basin and related storm sewer improvement to help reduce flooding near 75th Street and 40th Avenue as well as the neighborhood to the north of that area, with work slated to begin in 2022.
An estimated $4.85 million storm sewer project will begin this year and will continue in 2022 and 2023. Work includes reconstruction and maintenance of storm sewer pipes connecting the Pike Creek to the harbor downtown. The project involves 3,000 feet of storm sewer between Washington Park and the harbor near 52nd Street and Sixth Avenue.
John Antaramian is mayor of the
City of Kenosha.
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