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State Street reconstruction pushed off to 2016

Delay meant to keep access to Village open during other projects

Oct. 18, 2011

A major road project anticipated to start in the Village next year has been delayed until 2016.

State Street was expected undergo reconstruction, a project that created accessibility concerns for businesses in the Village Business Improvement District. Still after years of construction in the area, BID members wanted the work to just get done.

That was until the state Department of Transportation's plans for Zoo Interchange reconstruction overlapped with the city's project. Two major routes to the Village from the west will see road work aimed at making local streets ready to handle more traffic during the interchange project.

"Having Glenview and Watertown Plank Road closed at same time (as State Street) would be detrimental to our businesses," BID Director Kathy Ehley said.

Keeping State Street open would allow access to the Village from further east, she said.

BID officials watched the negative impact that simultaneously closing Watertown Plank and Bluemound roads had on Elm Grove's downtown and didn't want to deal with the same headaches.

"We don't want people to get into the habit of avoiding the Village," she said.

The city will move ahead with designing the future State Street and will work with the BID on aspects such as traffic flow, parking and streetscaping, City Engineer Bill Wehrley said.

"We're going to get ahead of the game," he said. "If the Zoo (Interchange) schedule is altered and there's an opportunity for us to do it sooner, we'd be ready."

He expects the city will bid out the project after the 2012 Capital Improvement Plan receives approval - likely before the end of the year - from the Common Council.

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