Wintry weather, delay in worker arrival postpone Streetscape work
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Motorists who cross Rhinelander’s Davenport Street Bridge have another two weeks before having to travel another route over the Wisconsin River.
The bridge had been slated to close Monday for about a month as part of the second of two years of construction with the city’s downtown Streetscape project, but the previous week’s wintry weather coupled with workers having yet to arrive in Rhinelander delayed the closure until May 1, said city public works director Tim Kingman.
Kingman said some of the project work, such as replacing concrete along parking areas, is now scheduled to begin this week. However, he noted there won’t be any road closures in the city because of the Streetscape work until next month.
Though the initial targeted finishing date of June 16, which was weather permitting, for all three phases of the project doesn’t look like it will be met, Kingman said he still expects the Streetscape work to be completed by July 4.
Rhinelander’s Streetscape project began in March of last year and wrapped up for 2016 in November. Numerous street closures occurred downtown last year when work took place separating the combined sanitary and storm water sewers and upgrading both systems along with putting down new pavement. The project also involved increasing the width of sidewalks, installing decorative lighting, planting trees and other beautification projects.
Though there isn’t as much disruption to traffic expected in the downtown area with this year’s work, in comparison to last year’s construction when several roadways were dug up, one road closure at the start of this year’s construction will be similar to 2016, namely the closure of the Davenport Street Bridge.
The road closures outlined in this year’s construction schedule, which is posted on the www.rhinelandercityhall.org website, are slated to take place in three phases when structures such as manholes would be adjusted for final installation along with the paving and striping to finish the affected streets.