A young boy was injured while riding his bike through a Wauwatosa construction zone this summer and now city officials are spreading the word about following rules and being cautious in work zones so that a similar incident doesn't happen again.
'One kid was going down a hill quickly and twisted his front tire,' said David Jaeckels, a project manager and construction communication liaison with the city. 'The contractor went over and gave him Band-Aids.'
Jaeckels, who spends much of his time at construction sites, also has noticed residents not following rules, including drivers taking shortcuts through work zones instead of following posted detours, and bicyclists riding through the uneven dirt and gravel in the Village of Wauwatosa, where a lengthy project to replace old infrastructure and road surface along State Street will continue until mid-November.
'Everybody needs to be cautious,' said Jaeckels, adding the city often posts reminders to residents about safety during construction season to its website.
The Village isn't the only area in Wauwatosa undergoing construction, Jaeckels said. As part of the planned reconstruction of Highway 45, which is part of the Zoo Interchange construction project, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation built a new pedestrian bridge over Interstate 41/Highway 45 near Whitman Middle School and Wauwatosa West High School. Through early fall 2916, Center Street will be closed and will not be available to motorists or pedestrians while the existing bridge is demolished.
There are also a number of smaller construction projects scattered throughout the city that may only affect a couple blocks, Jaeckels said.
The city reminds the public of the following during construction:
· Look for and obey work zone signs.
· Walk your bike through an area under construction.
· Watch for construction vehicles that may move suddenly or unexpectedly.
· Watch for uneven surfaces, steel plates and gravel to avoid falls and spills.
· Watch for closed streets and sidewalks and take the detour.
Overall, work in the Village is 'moving along pretty well,' Jaeckels said. Project planners expect road surfaces to be removed in August and replaced by a concrete pavers. Trees, benches, lighting and other landscaping features will likely happen in October. The majority of work will be finished by mid-November, weather depending.
Much effort has been made to keep the area accessible to customers during the ongoing work. The Village Business Improvement District launched a campaign to keep the area 'glowing' during construction.
The BID also held a Dozer Day activity July 9 where contractors showcased bulldozers and other construction equipment for families and children to explore.