Construction crews have started work on repairing damaged decorative brick crosswalks along East Capitol Drive, a state spokesperson said Wednesday.
Brick installed in several crosswalks as part of the massive Capitol Drive reconstruction project in Shorewood — wrapped just a few months ago — have fallen apart and been patched with asphalt.
The company hired to handle the $12 million state project, LaLonde Contractors, is under contract until May 15, Wisconsin Department of Transportation spokesperson Dennis Shook said, and he is optimistic they can finish before the deadline. However, it is unclear whether that means there wouldn’t be any additional costs.
Shook had few answers as to who is responsible for the work, who's going to pay if there are additional costs or even what material the contactor is using to do the repairs. He said the state's plan is to get the work done, and worry about the costs later.
Meanwhile, the village says it doesn’t believe it should have to pay for the crosswalk repairs. Village Manager Chris Swartz said since it is a state project, the matter is really between the contractor and the state.
Today's TMJ4 reported April 22 that the contractor would pick up the cost of the repairs, quoting the village as its source. However, Department of Public Works Director Leeann Butschlick said that is news to her. Shook said this may be an issue that could result in litigation.
Shook said a project manager is still determining what caused some of the bricks to fail, but the DOT believes the bricks were laid too late in the year and didn’t have enough time for the adhesive to set before winter weather rolled in. Project manager Trigg Knerr was contacted Wednesday but wouldn't comment.
There was disagreement about the brick used for the crosswalks. . Butschlick said the contractors said the state insisted on brick.
Flooding from torrential rainfall in July and delays on construction material for the contractors pushed back the completion date of mid-November well into December.
LaLonde Contractors could not be reached for comment on Wednesday — but LaLonde didn't even do the work. It sub-contracted the brickwork to Simon Landscaping, who in turn sub-contracted to Midwest Concrete Contractors. Neither Simon Landscaping or Midwest Concrete Contractors could be reached on Wednesday.
The Capitol Drive construction project repaved streets stretching from the Milwaukee River to the lakefront, replaced the Oak Leaf Trail Bridge, modernized street signals, addressed drainage issues and added some decorative features to the major street.