It might still be February, but road construction is already under way in the city of Waukesha, starting with one of the bigger projects in the heart of downtown Waukesha.

A separate project that extends from the edge of downtown and north past City Hall will also break ground next week.

At 1,500 feet, the downtown project, on West Main Street from Clinton to North Barstow streets, is the longest of any during the seven years the downtown streets are experiencing major reconstruction. It's the third in a seven-year upgrade of downtown's underground utility work, roads and streetscapes — something that city officials say is needed given the aging infrastructure.

As in the past two years, construction of the downtown project will be completed in phases to minimize the impact. The first phase of the five-month project began on Monday, Feb. 22.

During construction Main Street along that stretch will be closed to through traffic. Pedestrian access will be maintained by phasing the construction of the sidewalks.

Signs will be placed around downtown directing traffic to public parking facilities in the area. More information and special access needs should be directed to Project Manager Alex Damien in the city of Waukesha's Department of Public Works at (262) 524-3907.

Damien said there is a monetary incentive for each day the construction crew finishes ahead of schedule. The crew finished ahead of schedule the last two years.

Three phases

The work will be broken down into three phases as follows:

Phase 1: Main Street between Clinton and the Five Points intersection will be closed to through traffic to complete underground utility work. The projected time line for this phase is Feb. 22 to late March.

During this phase, the sidewalk within the project limits will remain open.

For vehicular traffic, the Five Points intersection will only be closed while the contractor is working in the intersection. There will be temporary parking closures on West Main Street east of the Five Points to complete sewer lining.

Once the underground work is completed, the roadway will be temporarily patched and reopened.

Phase 2: Main Street will be closed to through traffic between the Five Points intersection and North Barstow Street to complete the underground utility work. The projected time line for this phase is late March to late April.

The sidewalks within the project limits will remain open, as will Main Street between Clinton Street and the Five Points intersection as well as the entire Five Points intersection.

Phase 3: Main Street will be closed to through traffic between Clinton and North Barstow streets to finish the underground and road reconstruction work. The projected timeline for this phase is late April through the end of July.

The sidewalks on West Main Street will remain open and in place, but at some point during this phase they will be removed and replaced.

The city will attempt to maintain access on West Broadway through West Main streets as much as possible, but closure will be necessary.


    Farmers market move

    The road construction will result in the Waukesha Farmers Market being relocated across the river on private property, potentially for the entire season.

    The market has previously been held in Municipal Parking Lot 1, along the Fox River on Riverfront Plaza, in downtown.

    However, the city and the Building and Grounds Committee wanted the lot, along the Fox River on Riverfront Plaza, open for vehicle and pedestrian access at all times given the Main Street construction.

    But the common council will revisit the market's location during its last meeting in June when construction is nearing a finish to determine whether the market will return to its normal location for the remainder of the season.

    More construction

    Another extensive road project, northwest of downtown, along Summit Avenue and Delafield Street, is set to begin Feb. 29.

    Summit Avenue will be closed to through traffic for the duration of the project from North Moreland Boulevard to Delafield Street. Likewise, Delafield Street will be closed to through traffic from Spring Street to Madison and North streets.

    The intersections of North Washington Avenue and Spring and Delafield streets will remain open to through traffic with a minimum of one lane in each direction.

    The contractor is scheduled to begin the project on Monday, Feb. 29, weather dependent.

    The project will include water main removal and replacement, storm sewer addition and replacement, sanitary sewer lining, sanitary sewer lateral lining, traffic signal replacements (at Delafield and Spring streets and Madison and North streets) and a complete road reconstruction.

    The project could last through the end of September.

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