With one major project already under way, the Oak Creek Common Council has finalized the rest of the road work that will take place in 2012.
The biggest projects in the city this year are the widening of Drexel and Pennsylvania avenues.
Work on Drexel, which is now closed west of 13th Street, began Feb. 13. Drexel between 27th Street and Interstate 94 will transform from a two-lane rural road to a four-lane divided boulevard, with on-street bicycle accommodations, street lighting, additional turn lanes at 27th Street and stoplight modifications.
It will connect with the new Drexel Interchange, which is scheduled to get under construction in May.
Officials say it's one of the largest road projects Oak Creek has ever undertaken. The cost of $5.8 million will be paid for through the public utility aid the city gets from the We Energies power plant, a move the council approved in November.
The widening of Pennsylvania Avenue from two to four lanes between College and Rawson avenues is estimated to start in June, City Engineer Mike Simmons said.
The city still has to solicit bids from construction companies, which then needs approval by the Oak Creek Common Council. Preliminary plans call for the road to include accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians and improved street lighting.
In addition to those two projects, the council approved nine smaller projects in residential areas.
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A railroad quiet zone will be established in the 700 block of W. Puetz, next to the city's recycling yard. It will cost the city $100,000 for Candian Pacific Railroad to install double gates at the crossing.
Residents in the area have long wanted a quiet zone, but issues had to be worked out with Canadian Pacific and with the recycling yard, where city trucks enter and exit frequently.
Double gates means that a second gate will be installed to block the oncoming traffic lane, thereby prohibiting impatient drivers to drive around a gate and "beat the train" across the tracks, Simmons said.
Other stretches of Oak Creek streets due to be improved this year:
- Ryan Road, from 15th Avenue to Kinney Lane;
- Lenox Avenue, from 7781 Lenox Ave. to Marquette Avenue;
- Marshall Avenue, from W. Manitowoc Ave. to 645 Marshall Ave.;
- Puetz Road, from 900 E. Puetz to 1440 E. Puetz;
- Manitowoc Avenue, near Quincy Avenue;
- Wood Creek Drive;
- Woodview Avenue.
Shepard Avenue, from Groveland Avenue to 8850 S. Shepard, may also be improved if bids are low enough, according to a report to council members.
The city allocated $1 million for capital improvement projects in the 2012 budget. That money does not cover the work on Pennsylvania and Drexel, which is funded seperately.