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Summer Construction to Obstruct Driveway Access for Some Downer Avenue Residents

Road and sewer work on North Downer Avenue is slated for June 1.

Construction will start June 1 and last all summer on North Downer Avenue as the village contracts out work for road repairs and starts work on fixing its sewer system as part of its comprehensive sewer plan.

Downer Avenue residents should have received a letter informing them of the construction, and some residents might not have access to their driveways during portions of the construction.

Director of Shorewood's Department of Public Works, Leeann Butschlick, said at a recent village meeting the work won't cover the entire stretch of Downer Avenue and won't block residents' driveways for the whole summer.

"The work will be highly variable," Butschlick said, explaining that some of the work will actually be done on streets and avenues adjacent to Downer Avenue. Find the attached PDF to see if your block is targeted for construction.

The Village Board awarded a $2.3 million contract Monday under its road reconstruction program to Stark Asphalt, a Wisconsin-based major construction company, to conduct the work. DAAR Engineering was also awarded a contract not to exceed $243,000 for inspection work during the construction.

“I think it is worth noting… the work involves water main replacement, sewer installation and improvements, street lights,” Trustee Ellen Eckman said.

An overhaul of the village's sewer system is needed after torrential July rainfall devastated the North Shore with serious flooding.

Eckman added the reconstruction will be the largest road construction project the village has conducted. The East Capitol Drive reconstruction was a state project.

DAAR Engineering handled much of the inspection work for the reconstruction of East Capitol Drive.

However, one of two measures the board didn’t vote on includes a terrace drain system outlined in the village’s sewer plan. This system would allow easy access for homeowners to connect sump pumps and/or downspouts to a storm sewer lateral. The other option the village didn't approve in terms of the contract with Stark Asphalt was to exchange current manhole covers with more modern covers which grab more stormwater instead of simply passing it over, Trustee Jeff Hanewell explained. The two options would have added more than $200,000 to the project.

Construction is planned to wrap up November 15.

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