Big Changes Happening on August 7, 2019.

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City nearly done with street work as DOT prepares to move in

State project will mill, overlay Green Bay Street
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Workers position a boring machine to put a pipe under the railroad tracks on Fifth St.

The city will soon be wrapping up its end of street work for the year, paving the way for the state Department of Transportation to take the wheel for a major project along East Green Bay Street.

Public Works Director Scott Kroening said sewer and water utility work on East Fifth Street between Hamlin Street and Fairview Avenue should be completed by the middle of next week.

That doesn’t mean the road will be completely open for business.

The city will grade the street and make it passable, Kroening said, and then maintain it until it’s handed off to the DOT, which has included it in its Green Bay Street project.

“We’ll maintain it till the DOT comes in,” Kroening said. “If there are rain events, we may have to go in and clean it up a little bit.”

Work on Fifth Street has forced a new route for the Memorial Day Parade, which typically uses that street to get to Woodlawn Cemetery from Huckleberry Harbor.

The new route for the May 27 parade will start at the south fairgrounds gate at South Fairview Avenue and East Center Street, then continue north to the cemetery.

The DOT is expected start work in the middle of June and wrap up by the end of July.

The project will mill and overlay Green Bay Street from Main Street to the east city limits, and will include addressing the railroad crossings on Green Bay Street between Hamlin and Ellis streets and on Fifth Street just west of Washburn Street that have long been a source of driver complaints.

“They’ve got some storm sewer work to do first, along with taking out curb and sidewalk,” Kroening said. “Then they’ll start on excavating the street, putting the gravel in and put the curb and gutter and sidewalk back in, then eventually put the pavement back down.”

Meanwhile, paving should be done by the end of the week on Main Street, where the city is wrapping up a water main saddle replacement project.

At issue are stainless steel saddles, a type of metal sleeve, that hold the service connection to the water main. They were installed during the Main Street reconstruction project in 2002 and 2003. The project stretched from the channel to the Mountain Bay Trail at Oshkosh Street.

At least three of those saddles have failed over the last 10 years.

A corroded saddle was blamed for a water main break outside Dreier Pharmacy at 117 S. Main St. on Jan. 4 of last year.

Before that, two water main breaks occurred in the 100 block of North Main Street in February 2009 and December 2010, only about 50 to 75 feet away from one another. Another saddle failed in the 200 block of South Main Street in September 2013.

It was determined that high levels of chloride in the soil were responsible for those saddle failures.

Kroening said many of the saddles taken out during the replacement project were showing early signs of corrosion, but some actually fell apart as they were being removed.

“We’re lucky we didn’t have some other issues there,” he said. “It was only a matter of time.”

The new saddles, which are brass this time, were wrapped in heavy plastic, and additional backfill was be added to protect them from the chloride.