While the repaving of Cty. W in the City of Rhinelander will likely inconvenience some, city officials are doing everything possible to ensure the work is completed in a timely manner, and that it isn’t too much of a hassle for those that use the well-traveled road every day.
The city is planning the repaving Cty. W from Stevens Street to the city limit boundary line at the Rhinelander Country Club driveway. Work on the project began on Thursday, Aug. 16.
“This project was part of our street plan for this summer,” said Randy Knuth, the director of the city’s Public Works Department. “We decided to wait until now to start because this is typically the time when usage is down in the summer. We wouldn’t have wanted to do anything to this road around County Fest time.”
According to a release from the City of Rhinelander, there will be times when the public will be unable to drive through the construction zone. During those times, signs will be placed to detour traffic to the north Cty. W and Hwy. 17 intersection north of Menard’s. Knuth said that it’s his intention to keep those detour times minimal.
“We intend to allow traffic through as much as we can,” said Knuth. “Of course, we will have to have detours when we’re grading the road and applying the new asphalt. It is impossible to do that sort of work if traffic is continuously running on it.”
Knuth did say, though, that the detours will only be in place during the times that city work crews are on site, typically from 7 a.m. to about 3 p.m. weekdays. Also, residents who live in the stretch being repaved, and those wishing to access the Rhinelander Country Club will have access without having to use the detour, with the only exception being when the asphalt is being applied.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for people who use this road, so we intend to take the detour signs down and allow traffic during non-work times on this project,” said Knuth. “That will depend on damage, though. If the traffic on the in-progress road causes damage at night, we may have to leave the detours up. We’re hoping we won’t have to do that, though.”
Knuth said that the time frame for the project, which includes new concrete curb and sidewalk, grinding the old asphalt, grading and slightly widening the road, puring new asphalt and striping, is likely two weeks, giving it an estimated completion date of Aug. 30. Knuth said that depends on both the weather and on the paving contractor getting the project done on time.
“We certainly don’t hope for delays, but they do happen from time to time in this business,” said Knuth. “It’s certainly my main goal to have this project completely done when school starts on Sept. 4. Fortunately this project doesn’t include any underground utility work, so that will save us a lot of time. If everything goes according to the plan, we should be able to hit that mark.”