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Project leaders offer details as $14 million Stevens Street reconstruction work approachesSubmitted: 01/22/2019
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Project leaders offer details as $14 million Stevens Street reconstruction work approaches
RHINELANDER - One of Rhinelander's busiest and bumpiest roads will likely see crews work simultaneously at two spots when a major reconstruction project starts this spring.

About 30 people got detailed information on the city's upcoming Stevens Street project during a meeting Tuesday night at City Hall.

The city is replacing about 2.1 miles of road and underground infrastructure as part of the $14 million project.  Leaders told the crowd the work will be "pretty aggressive" and have its fair share of "chaos", but the end result will be beneficial to all.


"All projects have that moment of clarity where you wonder why you started it," Public Works Director Tim Kingman told Newswatch 12 after the meeting. "This has no lack of that. The work that's involved will involve deep sewer, wet conditions, rock that's very formidable to remove."

The city hopes to start work at Frederick Street running up to Timber Drive when the weather allows starting in mid-March. At the same time, crews will also start work at County Highway W north toward the Highway 17 bypass.

The commercial stretch of Stevens Street starting at Dwight Street to the north should allow for two lanes of traffic during the work, but that is subject to change. The residential stretch from the downtown area north will likely be closed down to through traffic, save for local access to homes, during parts of the work.

Kingman says the city initially hoped to finish construction in two years, but that may stretch into three years depending on contractor availability and cost analysis.

"It's always about risk and reward when you're talking about construction and we're right in the throes of doing all of that," Kingman said.

Crews will need to shut off water to homes and businesses periodically throughout the project, but the city intends to give 48-hour notice as that work comes up. Kingman says open communication between residents, business owners, and the city will be key to a successful project.

"[I'm] excited about this project and, particularly, the people that came out tonight and their enthusiasm for addressing the concerns the city has," Kingman said.

The city plans to use about $5.4 million in grant funding to help pay for the cost of the work. Rhinelander will borrow the rest of the money.

A timeline offered to the audience on Tuesday noted bids for the work will go out Jan. 30, with a contract to be awarded by Feb. 11.

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