Bukolt Rebuild to Begin After July 4th Holiday
A view of the Bukolt Avenue corridor in January. (City-Times photo)
City will reconstruct roadway block-by-block
By Brandi Makuski
City leaders plan to completely rebuild Bukolt Avenue beginning July 14.
The construction, which will focus on a section of road from Front to Second streets, as well as a portion of Georgia Street, from Bukolt to Sixth avenues. The project will be identical to the re-build of Ellis Street in 2013, which replaced outdated underground utilities, improved curb and gutter and installed a new concrete road surface. In February crews replaced part of a water main under the street after it burst amid extended subzero weather.
Public Works Director Scott Schatscheider said crews plan to complete the project, which carries a price tag of about $850K, sometime in October.
“What we’ve done for this project is we’ve split it up into phases, tackling smaller chunks at a time,” Schatschneider said. “If you remember, Ellis (Street) was ripped up from one end to the other right out of the gate. This project is different from the standpoint we’re doing it in phases to allow residents to park closed to their homes so their walk isn’t nearly as far.”
Schatschneider said motorists on Ellis Street had more parking space along side streets and alleys during roadway reconstruction there, but crews will tear up Bukolt Avenue 1-2 blocks at a time because of fewer alternative parking options.
While city leaders say they’ve been planning this project for a number of years, residents who live along the affected roadways may be caught off guard by the added expense. At least some residents can expect a special assessment bill for any outdated laterals that need to be replaced during the construction. According to Schatschneider, the expense totals $450- $3,150 for a new nonstandard sanitary sewer lateral, nonstandard water service, or the installation of new non-standard storm sewer lateral, or all three.
Several residents from the Bukolt Avenue neighborhood attended the June Common Council meeting, though none asked questions or addressed the Council. The silence took Alderman Mike Wiza by surprise, as he said he expected at least some public feedback during the meeting.
Wiza had requested the issue be moved towards the beginning of the Council meeting so residents could speak without waiting through a long agenda. When no one came forward after sev-eral calls for public comment, Wiza himself asked Schatschneider, Mayor Andrew Halverson and Comptroller Treasurer Corey Ladick to explain the situation thoroughly.
Mayor Andrew Halverson said Bukolt Avenue has one feature most other city streets do not.
“Bukolt Avenue is one of the more unique streets, completely lined with trees inside the city, so we’ll be engaging with the city forester to make sure we preserve as many of those beautiful street trees as we possibly can,” he said. “Otherwise it’s identical to the Ellis Street project- it’s a total reconstruct from pavement to base.”
Ladick said the residents who face the special assessments will have three options for payment. They can either pay the total bill within 30 days, pay over 5 years at 2 ½ percent interest or pay at 4.6 percent interest over a period of 10 years.