Council approves repairs to section at downtown railroad crossing

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

The Milwaukee Avenue corridor near the Canadian National Railway crossing in downtown Burlington will undergo pavement repairs and cause a short-term closure next week.

The pavement repairs were approved at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting and consist of milling two inches of pavement as well as resurfacing Milwaukee Avenue between Pine and Bridge streets.

The closure will run from Monday through Friday, city officials said.

A preliminary estimate authorized Tuesday puts the cost at $36,326, according to memorandum from city engineer Kapur and Associates. The work will be performed by Wanasek Corp., Burlington, and subcontractor Stark Pavement.

Peter Riggs, Director of Public of Works, said Canadian National Railroad first approached the city June 23 about its plan to repair tracks, crossing pads and asphalt approaches.

“CN staff asked if the city would be interested in taking advantage of the closing to perform road work around the tracks simultaneously,” Riggs said in a city document. “The pavement from Pine Street to the Milwaukee Avenue Bridge deck is in poor condition and would greatly benefit from resurfacing.”

City officials, however, encouraged Canadian National to push the project back a month because state Department of Transportation crews were resurfacing the Burlington bypass and already had a detour through the city.

“At that point in time, we had the detour from WisDOT for the bypass resurfacing project,” Riggs said. “We were able to work together to push their work back.”

Riggs, meanwhile, said the partnership comes with a cost benefit since Canadian National will already have railroad flaggers and traffic control measures such as detours at the project site.

“Should we not perform the paving at this time, it could lead to additional costs in the future including railroad permits, flaggers, traffic control and detouring expenses,” a city document stated. “Currently, all of these costs are being covered by CN. Additionally, paving at a different time would require another major closure and detour.”

The city plans to use funding of its portion of the project from the promissory note secured for the 2020 street improvement program.

To read more from Tuesday’s Common Council meeting — including information on the planned reconstruction of Maryland Avenue in 2021 — see the July 23 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.