Lane closures planned along Green Bay Street; detour planned for railroad crossing workBy:
Tim Ryan [email protected]
It all starts Monday and won’t be over until November.
The state Department of Transportation is trying to minimize the necessary but inevitable headaches that will accompany a major road resurfacing project along state Highway 22 in Shawano, and officials are planning weekly updates and notifications for those impacted, primarily business owners along East Green Bay Street.
DOT officials held a meeting at City Hall on Tuesday to inform the public of its plans. About two dozen people attended, mostly owners of businesses along East Green Bay Street.
The resurfacing project is intended to improve the existing pavement driving surface and other deteriorated infrastructure.
The existing asphalt pavement is showing signs of deterioration with cracking throughout and, if no improvements are completed, the remaining pavement structure life will be significantly reduced, according to the DOT.
The resurfacing will include South Main Street from County Road B to Zingler Road and East Green Bay Street from Main Street to County Road BE.
As part of that project, the DOT will also be addressing two other long-neglected problems: Replacing the box culvert at Murray Creek just east of Rusch Road, and replacing the railroad crossing on East Green Bay Street in downtown Shawano.
The railroad crossing, where the crossing surface is deteriorating, in particular has long been a complaint of local motorists. There are also signals but no gates present at the crossing.
Most of the project work will be improving sidewalk curb ramps, and resurfacing the existing pavement. That will consist of grading, milling, asphalt pavement, culvert pipe, storm sewer, curb and gutter, concrete driveway, sidewalk, box culvert replacement, signs, and pavement markings, according to the DOT.
At the completion of the project, sidewalk curb ramps will also be improved and up to current standards.
Lane closures will start on the east end of the project Monday to address the box culvert issue. Closures downtown will begin the week of July 22.
“The first thing that’s going to have to happen is replacing the box culvert on the west end down by (County Road BE),” said Jeff Reesman of Northeast Asphalt, the contractor on the project. “That’s going to start next week.
“We have to divert the existing creek so they can work on the existing box culvert, so there’s going to be some hopping around on some lanes over the next week.”
The culvert section of the project is expected to take about 10 weeks to complete.
Once that’s under way, crews will begin working along East Green Bay Street starting at Main Street and working eastbound.
“We’ll be in the east lane, then they’ll drop back and do the westbound lane,” Reesman said.
Motorists, as well as businesses in the area, are likely to feel the most impact of the project when work begins on re-doing the railroad crossing.
That is expected to begin by Aug. 5 and take most of the month, requiring traffic to be detoured around the work during that time.
The marked detour, which will also be the official truck route, will take motorists down state Highway 22 to state Highway 29 and back around up Airport Road, or vice versa in the other direction, of course.
That will be the official truck route, but officials expect many local motorists will opt to avoid the road closure by using Fifth Street, something that had some residents along that route a bit nervous at Tuesday’s meeting.
“It could be an issue,” Public Works Director Scott Kroening said.
The DOT has no plans at this point for any additional traffic control along Fifth Street during the railroad crossing closure, but officials said that situation would be monitored.
Fifth Street is under construction by the city right now, but, Kroening said, “that’s going to be completed before they close the railroad crossing.”
DOT officials said they also wanted to have the railroad crossing piece of the project completed before the start of the Shawano County Fair.
For the rest of the project along East Green Bay Street, motorists can expect to have three lanes of traffic open at any given time.
“The way this has to be paved is, we’ll fix all the curb areas. We have to mill and pave the center lanes, and then when that’s done, we move back to the outside lanes,” Reesman said.
Another big piece of the project will be the intersection at Green Bay Street and Airport Road.
“That’s a really big intersection,” Reesman said.
The DOT is planning work at that intersection to commence the week after Labor Day.