Highways 20/83 design project getting ready to hit the road

By Patricia Bogumil

Waterford Post interim editor

State transportation officials are asking the Waterford Village Board for input to use as a road map in designing either a repaving or reconstruction of Highway 20/83 through the village.

A Design Process Introduction meeting for the Highway 20 project was held Monday night in the Waterford Public Library Community Room, attended by Village staff, board members and about a dozen residents.

“We’re starting real early in the design process. This is just kicking off,” explained Project Manager Janet Cannon with the state Department of Transportation.

But the sooner the DOT receives local input, the better, she said. “If you know tonight, that would be great!” she added, laughing.

Local input will be considered, but the DOT will decide which design option is selected, Cannon said in reply to a question from Village Board President Thomas Roanhouse.

“We’re trying to work with you on this,” Cannon said. “Ultimately, it’s our decision, it’s our highway.”

If just a repaving project is decided upon, construction would likely start in 2017.

If reconstruction of the highway is selected, that timeline will get extended.

All options under consideration include reconstruction of Highway 20 from the Fox River Bridge to state Highway 36.

• Alternative 1 Proposal.

Construction cost to resurface Highway 20 from 1,000 feet west of Buena Park Road to the Fox River Bridge and reconstruct the bridge at its existing width would be $4.26 million.

The village’s cost share would be $72,700.

But the village would also receive $67,000 in state Community Sensitive Design (CSD) Funds it can use to enhance the project with features such as landscaping, decorative streetlights and benches.

These funds would typically not be approved to build new parking lots, said Project Engineer John Elkin, with R.A. Smith National, Brookfield.

• Alternative 2 Proposal.

Construction cost to reconstruct four travel lanes 1,000 feet west of Buena Park Road to the bridge, reconstruct the bridge at its existing width and allow parking on both sides of First Street from Main Street to River Road would be $8.46 million.

The village’s cost share would be $68,300 and it would receive $235,000 in CSD funds.

• Alternative 3 Proposal.

Construction cost to build the same project as in Alternative 2 but add parking on both sides of Main Street from Jefferson Street to the bridge would be $8.58 million.

The village’s cost share would be $87,200 and it would receive $237,600 in CSD funds.

Truck traffic.

Citing noise and safety issues, Village Trustee Judy Spencer repeatedly asked the engineers about the possibility of making new truck route changes part of the project.

Cannon said that re-routing truck traffic off Highway 20 is not currently being considered.

To do so, the Village would have to provide state officials with a plan explaining onto which state highway the re-routed Highway 20 traffic would go.

“Trucks are a necessary evil,” commented Trustee Roy Gawlitta. “There’s no way we can make an ordinance in this village to stop trucks on a state highway so like it or not, the trucks are here and there’s nothing we can do about it.”