The inconvenience that Wauwatosa's Village improvement project has placed on businesses and pedestrians has lessened in recent weeks but will still be a part of 2017.
The project continues to move forward and into phase two of the construction as workers put the final touches on phase one.
Work has begun in front of and behind the State Street Station on State Street, Wauwatosa Avenue, Blanchard Street, James Street and N. 74th Street, which is the bulk of phase two. Simultaneously, and to complete stage one, light fixtures, benches and signage continue to be installed on State Street, Harwood Avenue and Underwood Avenue.
Schedules to be announced
The schedule for phases three and four will be updated and published after the common council votes approval as a part of the 2017-2021 capital improvement plan in February. The C.I.P. is the formal submitted program for construction in the city for the next five years. Phase three is scheduled to be completed in 2017 and phase four is slated to be finished by the end of 2018.
According to David Jaeckels, the project communications leader, the work that has been completed has come in at or under the budget set forth by the city.
Business owners in the area have been anxious to see the project move along and some have expressed that they were not certain of the upcoming plan and were unsettled by what they perceived to be delays in the project.
"Once we get a new plan we will share it with the public," Jaeckels said. "This has always been a three-year project and we are still looking at three years. We are in the process of sharing the long-range plans with the city and the council and some information may have been confusing to business owners."
Parks to be reconfigured
Root Common and Pocket parks will be reconfigured as a part of phase three that will also see the connection of the two parts of Harwood Avenue that Root Common has separated. Other parts of phase three include the improvement to Underwood Avenue and Harmonee Avenue from the bridge up to Milwaukee Avenue and Wauwatosa Avenue from Harmonee to Blanchard Street.
Phase four — which includes the portion of land alongside the railroad tracks on the south side of State Street — has been delayed somewhat. According to Jaeckels, the delay is due to ongoing negotiations with Canadian Pacific Railroad, the owners of the railroad tracks.
This phase of the plan is slated to include a pedestrian railroad crossing and easement from Wauwatosa Avenue east to 68th Street, and also a sidewalk and a fence that would help separate the public from the railroad tracks.
"This has been a several year process and we are close to an agreement," Jaeckels said.