Council approves less expensive option for intersection
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Asphalt is now in and decorative concrete is out to pave downtown Rhinelander’s Brown and Davenport Street intersection now closed for construction.
City Council members voted unanimously Monday for a less expensive option as part of the Streetscape project to now use paint to decorate the intersection, which had been the focus this summer of an online poll that showed four options as to how it could look like.
Council members in July voted 6-2 in favor of the most popular option in the poll, which called for decorative paving for the crosswalks and bump-outs. One of the council members who dissented, Steve Sauer, had expressed concerns about that type of concrete not being able to last over several years.
“For the record, can we call this one the ‘Steve Sauer was right about stamped concrete motion,’” quipped council member Alex Young, who had also opposed the decorative concrete option.
After test samples had been poured to see what that type of concrete could look like, city public works director Tim Kingman said the coloration “looked very gray and not very accenting of what we thought would happen.”
Kingman said another alternative had been looked into to produce a darker color for the concrete, but that option would cost twice as much to construct, so painting was then looked at.
“This painting will take some more frequent application, but it is far less expensive….,” he said. “(The intersection) would be asphalt, and concrete would only be on the side of the street.”
The intersection diagram Kingman provided to the council depicted the crosswalks with painted asphalt in the walkways bordered with white stripes as well as painted concrete for the bump-outs.
“This stuff is easy to clean, easy to repair, and once it’s down, public works can maintain it at probably a fraction of the cost of what the concrete would have cost,” said council member Dan Gleason, who chairs the city’s Public Works Committee.
Plans for the downtown Streetscape project, which began construction in late March, currently call for all the paving work to be wrapped up for this year in October.