PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Residents received their first look at the state transportation department’s proposed $5 million resurfacing project that will encompass a 3-mile stretch of Sheridan Road from 91st Street to the Wisconsin-Illinois border.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation held a two-hour public information open house Tuesday at Village Hall to discuss the proposed improvements to the two lane, north-south road.
Construction, which is expected to begin in the spring of 2025, involves re-surfacing the road with asphalt along with a complete culvert replacement at Barnes Creek between 91st and 104th streets.
The project is expected to take at least two months.
“The bulk of the project, in terms of roadway, is mill and overlay. So, preliminarily we’d be taking off 3 inches of the riding surface and pouring 4 inches of new asphalt back on top,” said Ryan Bernard, project manager for the southeast region’s division of transportation system development. “That will improve the riding surface as well as increase the lifespan of the roadway.”
Sheridan Road, also known as Highway 32, requires work due to deterioration at the center and edge lines, as well as transverse cracking and uneven settling between shoulders and the road, according to the project summary.
Bernard said a factor affecting how long the project will take is the preparation and construction time needed for the 100-foot-long “box culvert” for Barnes Creek that will be installed 20 feet beneath the road.
Transportation officials will be working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on logistical and seasonal issues, including fish-spawning times.
“It will require a complete closure to install,” he said referring to the box culvert installation. “We’d be looking somewhere in the two-month range for the complete closure that would require a detour.”
Bernard said while the construction is not being done for another six years, the transportation department is essentially giving residents and local leaders a heads-up on the plans to come.
“What we’re trying to do is get out ahead of the projects as much as we can,” he said. “As part of the scoping team ... we go out to the communities, and we reach out to both the people living in the communities for things they’re concerned about, as well as anything the municipality has scheduled in conjunction with our project so we can nail down the scope, as well as the preliminary budget of the project.
“It gives them plenty of time to let us know about what the community would want,” he said. “We’re trying to get a head of the ball game, especially with the amount of work we have.”
Not part of the 2025 resurfacing is a proposed traffic signal at 104th Street that is anticipated to be installed in 2024, he said.
On Tuesday, some of the concerns transportation officials brought forth included driveway conformance along Sheridan Road corridor.
“State statute sets a certain sizing limit for how large residential and commercial driveways can be when they abut the roadway,” he said.
While there are both residential and commercial accesses, the majority of driveways “out of conformance” are older commercial driveways, he said.
Some, he said are as large 165 feet. State regulations require them to be no larger than 35 feet.
“With this project, we’re not looking to do any management in terms of reducing numbers of access, just the conformance of width,” he said.
He said the footprint of that stretch of corridor also would not change.
Access to local businesses would remain open, which was a relief for Sue and Pete Neahous, owners of the Village Supper Club at 10909 Sheridan Road.
“As long as our customers know that,” said Sue Neahous. “And they’re going to fix where the culvert is at the creek, so that’s really helpful. It’s just old ... and there’s been a couple accidents that have smashed into it. It’s nice they’ve considered changing that and updating it.”