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Muskego Public Works Reviews Progress On Tess Corners Drive

After public information meeting, concern seems to center around trees, and flooding concerns may need to involve New Berlin's plans.

The Public Works Committee met Monday night at City Hall and reviewed the input from residents along Tess Corners Drive after a public information session on road construction planned later in 2012.

Dave Simpson, City Engineer, said in large part the comments he received centered around trees: namely, which ones may be lost as the road is constructed and an off-road recreational trail is placed along its nearly one mile stretch.

The committee, which included input from aldermen Dan Soltysiak and Noah Fiedler, felt that the goal would remain as it has in other road projects, where the policy is to minimize loss without sacrificing road quality. An on-road trail would also serve that purpose, however Simpson said it would also increase costs by $300 to $500,000.

The city generally has not reimbursed homeowners for trees planted in the right of way, but it may include plantings or assist homeowners in moving trees and bushes, applying it on a case0by-case basis. 

The city would also apply a 'replace what was taken' policy with regard to driveways, and would provide some assistance to removing portions of driveways that are constructed of pavers.

Tracy Snead, who represents the district's homeowners, said the input she has received "was basically that any paths be set as far from homes as possible."

Narrowing the ditches, which would also steepen them, was also considered, and the committee felt a follow up survey to residents would help guage their interest in that option.

The area under construction has also been one that has historically flooded during heavy rain events, and the committee considered what altering stream crossings would do. Simpson explained that digital designs of the area were available to the north and south, but none were found from studies done by either FEMA, the DNR or the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Plan of the area directly involved in construction. A digital model would likely cost $29,00 to $32,000, and it would only provide information to give the city an idea of what altering the stream would cost.

Homes on Gaulke and Cornell Drive have repeatedly dealt with flooding, and according to Snead one is literally built over the stream. Soltysiak raised the question of what developments New Berlin has planned in the future could also impact the area.

Simpson said that if New Berlin could assist with planning for storm water issues 'upstream' when they develop along their southern boundary, it may help to alleviate flooding in the Tess Corners area. In the meantime, road construction plans would only include one 'lift' of asphalt should additional work be required.

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