In the Village of Waunakee’s recently approved 2020 budget are funds to complete about $2 million worth of road projects.

The village board at its Nov. 18 meeting approved an agreement with Strand Associates to provide design services, bidding related services and construction related services for street milling and overlay improvements, sidewalk curb ramp upgrades and sidewalk replacement.

Kevin Even, village engineer, noted that initially, the village had $1 million set aside for roadway improvements but increased that amount to $2 million.

“That really allows us to do 2.6 miles of road, and that is 4 percent of our 72 miles,” Even said. “In terms of having a sustainable plan moving forward, I think this really goes a long way.”

That 4 percent would be a 25-year turnover, Even explained, but the village has already repaired the worst roadways. For many of those yet to be repaired, curb and gutter can remain intact, Even said.

“Many of these roads, we can extend them another 15, 20-plus years by rehabbing them rather than waiting for them to have to reconstruct,” Even said.

Many of the projects over the last 20 years have been major reconstructs because of aging utilities and base that needed replacement, he added.

Even said now repairs are taking place to new roads, such as Verleen Street, which was added to the road improvement plan for 2020. Verleen Street is about 30 years old, Even said.

Since then, the village has increased its standards for roads.

“So I think going forward, we’ll even have more life out of these roads… than we’ve been seeing now. So I do think this is a really sustainable amount of budget to keep us on task without falling behind,” Even said.

In 2020, mill and overlay projects are planned for portions of the following roads:

John Street, Elizabeth Street, Henry Street, Rupert Road, Bristol Drive, Kearney Way, Centennial Parkway, Reeve Drive, William Way, Parkview Circle and Verleen Avenue.

Curb ramp replacements are also planned for a number of roads. Kent Straus of Strand Associates told the board that these are needed to meet ADA requirements. Several curb ramps will be surveyed for proper design.

Those projects will take place on sections of John Street, Bristol Drive, Kearney Way, Centennial Parkway, Reeve Drive, William Way, South Street and West Verleen Avenue.

Valley gutter installations are also planned to prevent water from crossing roads and causing erosion at sections of Henry Street, Bristol Drive and Centennial Parkway. A storm-sewer installation is also planned at Kearney Way and South Street. In addition, village-wide spot sidewalk replacement is planned.

Woodland Drive humps

Asked about the Woodland Drive humps that occurred around the Mill Road intersection, Even said some contingency has been left in the budget for that work. Four humped sections were repaired this fall.

“We found recycled concrete in the base material, and with very, very strong indication, it is my opinion that recycled concrete is causing the problems of the bumps,” Even said.

Even said other communities across Wisconsin are seeing the same problems with Department of Transportation specs.

When it was initially completed, the project received $2 million in grants for the roadway.

“When you accept those grant funds, you’re required to use DOT specs, which we did; in fact, the DOT was the construction management in that project,” Even added.

When moisture gets into these base materials with recycled concrete it causes heaving, he said.

“It’s understandable what’s going on. The solutions are not inexpensive,” Even said.

A specialized milling was done to four of the humps, and the road was trimmed down. Even said the village will have to remain vigilant with seal coating the roadway, more than with a typical road.

“This one is going to have to be much more aggressive because the alternative to that is going to be removing all the asphalt, removing all the base, replacing all the base and replacing all the asphalt,” Even said, estimating the cost of that work in excess of $100,000 for the village’s share.

Trustee Bill Ranum asked how much the village has spent on repairs to Woodland Drive. Even said so far, the village’s share has been about $14,000 to repair the four humps, adding, “We’ll see how this works.”

The village has a long-term plan for road improvements which it reevaluates each year, Even said. While the public works committee looks at road projects 15 years ahead, those can change.

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