Stevens Street in Rhinelander will soon be repaired Submitted: 10/10/2018
Story By Nina Schlosberg

Stevens Street in Rhinelander will soon be repaired
RHINELANDER - An upcoming project in Rhinelanderwill feel very similar to last year's downtown streetscape repairs. Stevens Street is the city's major north-south through street and it will soon be under construction.

Most of Stevens Street in Rhinelander hasn't seen any major repairs since the 1980's. Public Works Director Tim Kingman has been trying to get the road redone for a while.

Now he has the funds the city needs. Business owners on the road are just hoping that this construction will be quick.

Al Joswiak is the owner of Bikes and Boards Extreme Sports Gear on Stevens Street is worried at what a major construction project will mean for his business.

"Traffic that flows through the community on Stevens Street. So that drive-by traffic is probably going to affect us I'm sure," Joswiak said.

Regardless of what the construction means for his business, Joswiak feels the roadwork still needs to happen.

"It's been neglected probably for a number of years," Joswiak said.

As a person who sells bikes and skateboards for a living, there is one thing he hopes the town will keep in mind.

"I hope that they have a bike lane for pedestrians," Joswiak said.

The downtown part of Stevens Street went under construction last year. Kelly Hoppe, who owns the Cutting Cabin, and Dr. Nick Boismenue, who has a child health care center on that part of the road, both said the construction they had to deal with was a little annoying.

Rhinelander Public Works Director Tim Kingman says they plan to start construction as soon as all the snow melts this upcoming spring. He says he will try his hardest not to inconvenience drivers.

"There will be a means for the people in the city to get where they need to go," Kingman said.

If everything runs the way it should, this project will be done in a year. Kingman has been trying to get this road repaired for a while. He recently was able to get the funding to do it.

"We received the first indication of grants being available three months ago," Kingman said.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $18 million. All of the utilities under Stevens Street are getting repaired as well. The city received about $10 million in federal grant money for sewer construction.

On Monday, the city council gave Kingman permission to pursue a short-term loan for the rest of the money.

"We will make full advantage of the whole construction season next year," Kingman said.

Kingman appreciates everyone in the town who is willing to work with him.

"Residents go right along with us and are appreciated because they do have to go through a tough spot there until the end," Kingman said.

If all goes as planned the rebuild on Stevens Street should be finished by next winter.

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