Cascade Avenue rounds final stretch of bricks, landscaping, lightsCity Engineer Reid Wronski said Monday that the Cascade Avenue reconstruction project is in its final stages and expected to be finished, with the road open, by mid-October.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
City Engineer Reid Wronski said Monday that the Cascade Avenue reconstruction project is in its final stages and expected to be finished, with the road open, by mid-October.
To some it looks finished enough to bear traffic, but it still lacks finishing touches and for safety’s sake, must stay closed until those are finished.
Crews are working in the median, on the sides of the road, and soon -- on erecting multiple streetlights.
Wronski explained that the “final” surface has not been applied to the roadway yet. Big trucks and heavy machinery can scratch the road surface and cause other minor damage.
He said, “We would like all that activity on a surface that will be buried under another layer of asphalt.”
Similarly, project crews have laid heavy-rubber mats over all the crosswalks newly paved with decorative bricks.
Wronski said the work tasks left in the projects must happen in sequential order. He said though the contractor aggressively pursued early goals, often doing two or three things at once, that multi-tasking isn’t as feasible with late-project jobs.
For example, the bricks must be laid in the roadway median before trees can be planted, and the roadway can’t be opened for traffic before those two tasks are finished plus the more than 50 streetlights installed.
Wronski said while the street wasn’t open on UW-River Falls’ student move-in day, the city opened the roundabout at Sixth Street that day to give people an additional exit. He said the plan seemed to work well.
He comments that all crosswalks are now open and open in their permanent places, unlike during the summer when they moved locations frequently. Wronksi said some of the crosswalk lights are temporary, though all are in their permanent places.
Wronski said the UW-River Falls parking Lot Q is open and will also get a final layer of asphalt, as well as painted stripes.
The engineer says once workers lay the “thousands and thousands” of bricks along the median, there will be 130 trees to put in the ground, as well as about 4,000 plants. Another final step of the project will be installing signs -- street, directional and traffic -- plus painting lines onto the roadway.
Wronski said people will also see at the Second-Cascade roundabout, protective bollards, which are short, thick, concrete poles designed to shield pedestrians from errant cars.