Reconstruction work on 27th, 76th streets delayed

Projects have encountered planning, funding snags

June 6, 2012

Franklin - The reconstruction of portions of 76th and 27th Street in Franklin is expected to be further delayed, based on recent updates from Milwaukee County and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

In a report to the Common Council on Monday, City Engineer Jack Bennett said the reconstruction of 76th Street from Puetz Road to Imperial Drive, originally planned for 2012, is now scheduled for 2014.

Four lanes for 76th Street

Information provided by the Milwaukee County Department of Transportation indicates that reconstruction will start in February of 2014 and be completed by November of 2014.

Bennett said delays were encountered partially due to disagreements with the state on whether the 2-mile stretch should be reconstructed as a two-lane or four-lane road.

Current project plans reflect a four-lane, undivided highway, with a traffic signal at Forest Hill Avenue. Sidewalks, to be paid for by the city, will be constructed on the east side of the street, Bennett said. A bike lane and likely an 8-foot terrace also will be included, he said.

District 1 Alderman Steve Olson made a motion for the mayor and city staff to express to the Milwaukee County Board and other agencies the city's desire to reconstruct the remaining portion of 76th Street from Margaret Lane to south of Ryan Road as expeditiously and cost-effectively as possible, which the Common Council supported.

27th Street work set for 2017

The city recently learned the reconstruction of 27th Street between College and Drexel avenues will be pushed back to 2017, Mayor Tom Taylor said.

The project has been delayed due to budget rebalancing and the need for additional time for real estate acquisition, according to an email from the DOT.

The email also states that there may not be sufficient right of way for certain design elements requested by Franklin and Oak Creek. That issue also will need to be resolved with the DOT.

Taylor stressed the need to get accurate information from the state, so the city and affected businesses along 27th Street are able to make informed decisions.

"Every delay offered by the DOT is causing someone to make a decision to do nothing," Olson said.

City officials plan to meet with state representatives and Dewayne Johnson, director of the DOT's Southeast Region, in the near future to discuss the matter and the need to prioritize the 27th Street corridor.

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