After the first year of major road reconstruction on Janesville Road, Muskego residents are veterans of the detour, lane shift and closure, and Waukesha County representatives say it showed in the turnout on Thursday.
The planners were on hand at Muskego City Hall to reveal the project plans, and answer questions. For the most part, attendence was brisk in spite of a winter storm and residents seemed already well versed.
"People are coming to review in large part those areas of the project that impact their properties," said Ed Hinrichs, project engineer. "However, the response has been thoughtful and positive and it seems like everyone that has come in knows what to expect, perhaps because they've lived through one season of it already."
The nearly two-mile road project features two additional lanes, medians and a complete reconstruction of Janesville Road, Muskego's main artery. It's considered the largest county road project in its history.
Concerns over some requested exceptions based on the state standards for reconstructed roads have been granted according to County planners. The intersection of Lannon Drive and Janesville Road as well as the crosswalk at Pioneer Drive were approved as designed.
If you haven't already noticed, large equipment has already parked itself along Janesville near Racine Avenue, heralding the beginning of utilities work. WE Energies will bury their lines in mid to late February, with AT&T following suit sometime in March. Once those wires are buried, the poles will also be taken down.
Other notable changes include:
- A second 'lift' of asphalt on the eastern portion will finish that roadway on the eastern half of the project from Moorland Road to Lannon Drive. Planners only lay one layer in a year to allow for settling, then make any corrections prior to the second layer in order to save on costs.
- Signage in front of Thomas Jewelers will be removed along with a portion of that business' lot
- DJ's Pub, which already has waiting equipment on the property to do the job, should be razed in the next week
- A vacant home at the corner of Janesville Road and Racine Avenue will also be razed, but the timing on that has not been confirmed
- Residents will also notice tree removal, specifically on the north side of the road between Pioneer Road and Racine Avenue, while the south side of that stretch will also experience perhaps the greatest 'cut in' to accommodate the additional lanes of traffic.
Roadwork itself will begin later than it did last year, but reflects the addition of 80 percent state funding to the project. The money from the state won't be available until mid-May, with planners hoping for a mid-June start. (Last year's construction began in April.) However, the end date of the project remains November.
"Prettier" portions of the project will take place in the spring of 2014. Those include the street scaping, including plantings in the medians and banners on the poles along the entire stretch.