BY KEVIN BONESKE
Road construction season has arrived in downtown Rhinelander.
Barricades have returned for the second of two years of work for the Streetscape project. In addition to the Davenport Street Bridge now being closed to motorists, the first of three phases of road closures began Monday.
Work on the Davenport Street Bridge started three weeks later than originally scheduled when wintry weather lingered on in April. City public works director Tim Kingman said deck repair has begun on the bridge, which could reopen sometime from late May to early June, weather permitting.
Kingman said the opening series of road closures, which have been scheduled to run through May 19 when there will be pedestrian access while motor vehicles could be blocked, will include Brown Street being barricaded off between Frederick and Davenport Street, Davenport Street being blocked east of the bridge to Stevens Street and portions of Courtney and Anderson Street being affected.
Though portions of the second phase of the project have already begun, Kingman noted that work was scheduled to start May 22 and run through June 2 to involve South Brown and portions of North Anderson and West King Street, while the third and final phase slated for June 5-16 includes Stevens and Rives Street.
Kingman said not as much disruption to traffic is expected in the downtown area with this year’s work, compared to last year’s construction when several roadways were dug up, with the final paving and striping taking place to finish the affected streets.
“It’s just not the same thing as last year,” he said.
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 has also involved increasing the width of sidewalks, installing decorative lighting, planting trees and other beautification projects.
This year’s construction schedule is posted on the www.rhinelandercityhall.org website. Kingman said he hopes the entire project will completed by July 4.