Minocqua’s town board Tuesday night gave its unanimous approval to a design plan for reconstructing the intersection of County Highway J with Hansen Road and Balsam Street.
The area has been the site of a considerable number of drainage problems over the last several years.
The project design calls for the intersection of Hansen Road and Highway J to be moved slightly to the east which would straighten the road and allow it to directly align with Balsam Street which is on the opposite side of the county highway.
The total cost for the project is estimated at no greater than $40,000 with the town paying about 20 percent of the cost or about $8,000. The rest of the costs for the project will be paid by Oneida County with federal grant funds.
“In order to obtain the federal grant the project must address the standing water issues,” Chad Schroeder of the firm contracted to design the project, MSA Engineering, said. “The design work for the project begins at a point approximately 400 feet west of Oak Street.”
According to the design approved by both the county and now the town, the project will include:
• Reconstruction of the road surface and road bed.
• Construction of curb and gutter, storm sewer, bike lanes via a paved shoulder, a single sidewalk extention on the south side of Highway J only and a 36-foot wide roadway,
• One portion of the project will be completed without curb and gutter and without sidewalk from Oak Street to State Highway 47. This will include removing the existing pavement, excavation and replacement of the road structure to comply with required standards (5.5 inches of asphalt over 11 inches of base aggregate).
• Continue a storm sewer trunk line to Hansen Road to correct drainage issues.
• Reconstruct/realign Hansen Road with Balsam Street, which will also fix existing right of way issues where Hansen Road is located outside of the existing right of way.
If the project receives final approval the town would also be responsible for caring for and clearing an additional 400 feet of sidewalk from the new Packing Plant Road, which will be reconstructed as part of the U.S. Highway 51 project, to Oak Street where the Edgewood Manor Apartment complex is located.
To complete the project as proposed the town will also need to reach a land swap agreement with Ritchie Oil which owns property on both sides of the Hanson Road intersection.
The Oneida County Highway Committee approved the design at its Feb. 28 meeting. The project is expected to begin sometime in 2014, possibly in the spring.
Conditions must be met
County officials said the project would move forward if four additional points were met:
• The Town of Minocqua must reimburse Oneida County for Hansen Road intersection reconstruction costs.
• All right of way issues must be cleared through the project Federal Highway Administration process.
• Wisconsin Public Service must commit to relocation of utilities in a manner that will not cause mass tree cutting or property impacts.
• Public acceptance of the revised design must be accomplished. The revised plan will be presented at a public informational meeting to be held this summer on a date yet to be determined.
Town chairman Mark Hartzheim and town supervisors praised the proposed design of the project.
“I know that earlier proposed design work on the project went much farther and some property owners were unhappy about the number of trees they would lose if the earlier design had moved forward,” Hartzheim said. “The earlier project was spinning out of control and this scaled-down version I think is much better.”
The town board held a closed session during Tuesday’s meeting to consider lease terms for a zipline project on town land that was proposed about two years ago, but has not yet broken ground because the developer has had problems arranging all of the necessary funding.
“The board was discussing possible lease concepts,” Hartzheim said. “We’re trying to massage this deal so it can happen.”
Hartzheim said he expects a conclusion one way or another soon.
“We’ll either see the zipline move forward or the town will end discussions on this proposal and seek other options for the town property,” Hartzheim said. “The town just wants to move forward on this one way or another.”
The zipline is being proposed to be built on town property in the area of Gun Club Road.
Joe VanDeLaarschot may be reached at email@example.com.