Street opening set for July 19

If city officials' revised prediction is realized, Concord Avenue on the city's southeast side will reopen in one week.

In Watertown Street Superintendent Randy Franks' perfect world, the Concord Avenue street repaving project will be done a week from Friday.

Franks said there were issues with a paving contractor, alluding to scheduling issues, therefore the project was not done by an early July date that had been tentatively set.

"We understand the frustration (on the part of area residents and travelers who use the street)," Franks said. "These (delays) can happen with us and numerous contractors. We thank the public for being understanding about this."

Many commuters, to and from Watertown, utilize Concord Avenue which leads to Jefferson County Highway E. Highway E then runs southeast to Interstate 94 at Concord. Most then move east to jobs and homes in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

Construction on Concord Avenue began the morning of June 3. The street has been closed since then from Kohlhoff Lane to the railroad tracks for spot curb repair and asphalt replacement. Drivers have had to take a detour that began on County Highway P in Pipersville, to County Highway F in Ixonia and to state Highway 16 to Watertown. There were also other alternatives.

The construction is a part of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Local Road Improvement Program under which the city receives state aid. Franks said the combined total cost of the project is approximately $370,000.

Most of the work is being done by contractors Payne & Dolan and Stark Pavement. Franks told the Daily Times in early June that the city's work on the project is minimal.

Roadwork on Concord Avenue began with spot curb repair. Five inches of blacktop were then milled off and a first layer of paving was put down. The second layer should be complete by next week with the striping to close out the project.

Franks said the Watertown Police Department made several traffic stops at the beginning of the project when drivers who were not residents of the area tried to pass through "Road Closed" warning signs.

"It's always a learning curve on that type of thing," Franks said of the drivers who violated the signs. "But eventually people get the message and now they are following the signs and the detour."

Franks said the speed in the area of Concord Avenue that is seeing the work will remain at 25 mph.

Franks said he is "99 percent sure" the paving portion of the project will be done by midweek next week, with striping to follow and the road open a week from today.

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