City OKs early-stage Cascade Avenue designThough dirt doesn’t fly anytime soon on the big project of reconstructing Cascade Avenue from Spruce Street to Wasson Lane, the City Council voted yes Tuesday night to take the next step: Preliminary engineering.
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
Though dirt doesn’t fly anytime soon on the big project of reconstructing Cascade Avenue from Spruce Street to Wasson Lane, the City Council voted yes Tuesday night to take the next step: Preliminary engineering.
The resolution it passed means consultant firm Short-Elliott-Hendrickson (SEH) soon starts the $235,000 work of surveying, drilling and testing soil, locating utilities, converting the concept plan into a design, establishing rights-of-way, updating costs and possibly holding more public meetings.
The resolution indicates that project stakeholders basically agree to a design that looks like the concept plan the City Council approved last year.
A seven-person technical committee began developing the concept in March 2007.
After the group gathered input from a series of three public meetings last year, collectively attended by some 200 people, it revised and accepted the concept plan.
The major changes it includes: Roundabouts where Cascade intersects with Wasson Lane, Sixth Street and Second Street; a wider median along all and a fence along some parts; no on-street parking from Second to Sixth; creation of one big and “efficient” parking lot stretching from west of North Hall to Spring Street; making one-way only with slanted parking the on-campus service road south of Cascade and east of Sixth Street; lighting along the entire reconstructed stretch; and a trail and sidewalks.
Council Member Tom Caflisch asked questions about how much of that expense is the city’s and where the money is coming from.
City Engineer Reid Wronski said River Falls takes responsibility for moving the project forward and paying the whole bill initially. In doing so though, it partners with the university, municipal utility, Wisconsin Department of Transportation and neighborhood residents.
He said the item is in River Falls’ 2008-2009 budget, and all the “appropriate entities” would be billed at the end of the project after construction costs are known.
Wronski said the city worked a similar deal with River Falls Municipal Utilities on a Walnut Street project in which it took the lead and billed the utility later.
In a memorandum to council members about the preliminary engineering, Wronski says River Falls applied for a transportation grant to cover 80% of the project but did not receive it.
He said the city will continue to seek more funding opportunities as work progresses. Wronski explained that the preliminary work could continue into 2010.
Council members voted to install and move a number of “no parking” signs in the Highview Meadows subdivision on County Road M east of the hospital.
New ones will be placed on the south side of Hilltop Lane and the south side of Fairchild Drive, and a mistakenly placed set on Morningside Drive’s north side will be moved to the street’s south side.
The City Council formally approved participation in a regional micro-loan program for cities in St. Croix County. It will enable small businesses in that county to seek loans from $5,000 to $25,000 and is offered through a cooperative of municipalities and counties pooling their community-development grant money.
River Falls has such a program, but it is only available to businesses in the downtown district on the Pierce County side of the city.