Today’s problem: There are numerous potholes in a short stretch of 58th Street between Sheridan Road and Eighth Avenue downtown.
Potholes, potholes, potholes. It’s not exactly a news flash. Potholes are a problem pretty much everywhere in the city.
One pothole in the eastbound lanes of 58th Street, in the middle of the photo, is large enough to consume a vehicle tire. Also, there is what appears to be a sinkhole developing underneath what looks like a storm sewer cover on this same stretch of roadway.
Fix It contacted the Kenosha Street Department to ask if there was any chance that they could patch these holes and take a look at the sinkhole problem.
City responds: Dennis Schmunck, street superintendent, wrote that the potholes were on the city’s Public Stuff app and would be taken care of.
As for the hole by the sewer cover, Schmunck said, “It’s not a sewer; it’s actually a telecommunications manhole having to do with AT&T and they were going to have a crew respond to that. My understanding is the deterioration of that manhole is creating that void. So, they’re supposed to repair their manhole and fix the area around there.”
The potholes on 58th Street were patched by Wednesday. Also, safety cones had been placed around the AT&T manhole, and the pavement was marked for construction work.
A city crew was out patching potholes on 30th Avenue south of Washington Road to 52nd Street on Wednesday.
How many crews does the city have filling potholes?
“As many as possible,” Schmunck said. “Every day we have at least two. So, depending on our other operations, we get some more out.”
The length of Sheridan Road south from 60th Street to 75th Street is littered with them. Fix It asked Schmunck if this section of roadway was on their punch list.
“It’s been. We’ve been out there. As with this weather, unfortunately, they come and go. Virtually every roadway. So, the guys have been out, and we’ve kind of circled the city once, but with the current conditions, with as much water as we’ve had and some of the freezing and thawing ... we’re hitting them. We’ve got crews out again today. But that’s the problem. ... They’re not completely dry. ... Moisture is not our friend with any of this patching, and we’re just using cold patch right now. We don’t have any other materials available at this time.”
Schmunck said the traditional hot asphalt patching is dependent on the plant operations. “When Payne & Dolan fires their plant up out here in Paris. ... We’re still a ways out yet. It all depends on their agreements with the town of Paris and what needs they have. ... They’re our closest resource right now.”
Safety request: Schmunck wrote, “Our crews are working hard to fill all the potholes in the city. If you could please ask the traveling public to slow down and give them plenty of space when they encounter the crews working in the street. We are currently using a blocking vehicle behind the crew filling the potholes, so please let the public know that they should be careful to make sure they are past the entire operation before merging back into their lane.”
So if you see city workers out on the roadway, along with law enforcement, firefighters and school crossing guards, please slow down and move over to give them adequate room.
Update, WisDOT responds: Tom Heydel, WisDOT Southeast Region traffic and design engineer, contacted Fix It with some information regarding last week’s inquiry on signs for Highway 50 at Highways 31 and 50 at 104th Avenue.
Heydel wrote: “Highway 50 at Highway 31: State law allows U-turns at signalized intersections unless otherwise posted. The eastbound traffic has a “No U Turn” sign posted because there is a southbound dual right-turn lane that is signalized, which would cause a conflict. It is called a “right turn overlap,” where both the eastbound U-turn has a green arrow at the same time as the right turn heading west has a green arrow. The other three right-turn lanes at this intersection are single right-turn lanes. Therefore, the conflict is not the same and U-turns are allowed for westbound, northbound and southbound.”
“Highway 50 at 104th Avenue: The “Left turn yield on green ball” sign is placed for movements where there is a known crash problem. It is required by law to yield to oncoming traffic when there is a green ball.”
Heydel wrote, “We don’t place this sign for every left turn movement at every intersection. In 2014, we installed a “Left turn yield on green ball” for the westbound traffic due to a crash issue for that direction. We will look at the crashes to see if there is a problem for the eastbound traffic on Highway 50 making a left turn to go north on 104th Avenue. If we observe an issue with eastbound traffic, we will add a “Left turn yield on green ball” for eastbound traffic also.”
Commentary: So there’s a chance of some improvement at Highway 50 and 104th Avenue. Or if you have to get somewhere east or west quick like a tiger, you could just avoid the general maelstrom that is Highway 50 and take Highway K. Oh, wait, that’s no longer a time-saving shortcut either. Sigh. Remember when Highway K at Highway 31 was a two-way stop?
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