2017 projects include more work downtown, at Grandview Boulevard and Northview Road

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Christmas is coming a little early for Waukesha motorists as construction along major roadways in the city winds down and wraps up for the year.

But that reprieve won't last too long. A number of road reconstruction projects are once again scheduled to tear up the gravel – and probably try drivers' patience – next year.

City Engineer Alex Damien said Dec. 7 that only relatively minor work remains on Moreland Boulevard/Highway 18 at White Rock Avenue, near Frame Park, and along Delafield Street, north of downtown. Those were two of the longest-running construction projects undertaken by the city this year.

Each of those projects was delayed by several weeks at least once. The roads reopened to traffic in early December, just before last weekend's snowstorm rolled through Wisconsin.

Constant construction

The Moreland Boulevard and Delafield Street work was part of what Waukesha officials have called the busiest year for road construction, possibly in the city's 170-year history. Earlier this year, the city announced six major road construction projects that cut into virtually every major roadway.

Other long-term projects included work along Main Street downtown – a project that actually finished ahead of schedule – as well as construction on East Sunset Drive, Les Paul Parkway and Summit Avenue.

The city's portion of the Moreland Boulevard project, which extended from East St. Paul Avenue and East North Street to Manhattan Drive and included the White Rock intersection, was one component of extensive road work on that thoroughfare. The state Department of Transportation handled the other massive portion of that project from Manhattan to Interstate 94.

At least one lane of traffic in each direction is now open on the city's portion of the Moreland project, Damien said.

However, one noticeable difference at the White Rock intersection is that Eales Avenue is no longer accessible to motorists there. That street was turned into a cul-de-sac, Damien noted. The change had previously been outlined at public information meetings about the project, he explained.

Moreland remained open, with intermittent lane closures, on the DOT's portion of the project since work began in March. That project also concluded about a month later than anticipated.

Mike Pyritz, the DOT's regional communication manager, said last week that work on that project would be substantially complete by Dec. 10. (The original completion date was expected to be early November.) All that remained, he said, was some landscaping work and lane striping, which will wrap up early next year.

2017 projects

Major thoroughfares should remain relatively untouched in 2017, but Waukesha residents will once again face construction downtown, Damien said.

Work along Grand Avenue near the Five Points intersection and construction along South Street from Clinton Street to Grand is planned. However, in a departure from recent years, no work is scheduled on Main Street.

Other major reconstruction projects will occur along Prairie Avenue, between St. Paul and College avenues, and on NW Barstow Street from Buena Vista to Lemira avenues.

According to the city, the DOT will be conducting another Waukesha-based construction project in 2017. The DOT will add a second southbound lane at Grandview Boulevard and Northview Road and will install new sidewalks and curb ramps at the intersection corners, and replace the traffic signal equipment.

That work has already begun. We Energies is replacing two gas main near that intersection.

The project is expected to begin in earnest next spring.

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