Bridge Alternatives Presented
Ninety citizens and business owners attended a meeting last Thursday evening at the Winneconne Elementary School to discuss the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) alternatives for the bridge spanning the Wolf River.
All people attending the meeting received material explaining each crossing alternative and an impact summary sheet. Included in the material was a comment sheet that could be turned in after the meeting, or mailed to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
Three alternatives were eliminated from consideration after the public meeting held in May of 2010. The remaining alternatives are alternative 2, either as a fixed bridge, or movable span; alternative 3, either as a fixed bridge, or movable span; alternative 6, rehabilitation of the existing bridge.
Alternative 2, fixed bridge, would displace Creative Tile, The Other Place, Radtke Construction, Brooks Bargains and Hometown Family Hair Center. The Fin ‘n’ Feather driveways on Main Street would be closed and would require walls approximately 23 feet in height on the west and east side of the bridge. The Coast Guard would require 23 feet of clearance over the river. The existing clearance is 9’6”. No temporary bridge would be required. This option would also close the south side of First Avenue. Cost would be $18.3 million.
Alternative 2, movable span, would displace Creative Tile, The Other Place, Radtke Construction and Brooks Bargains. It would also close the Fin ‘n’ Feathers driveways on Main Street. Walls approximately 13 feet in height would be required at the east and west end of the bridge. It would require 13 feet of clearance over the river. No temporary bridge would be required. Cost would be $26 million.
Alternative 3, fixed bridge, would displace the Fin ‘n’ Feather, Creative Tile, Radtke Construction and Wolf River Resort. It would close the driveway of The Other Place on Main Street and reduce Brook’s Bargains parking area. It would also close access to First Avenue. Walls approximately 18 to 21 feet would be required at the ends of the bridge. Twenty three feet of clearance would be required and also requires a temporary bridge. Cost would be $27.8 to 29.6 million.
Alternative 3, movable span, would not close any business, but close the Fin ‘n’ Feather’s and The Other Places’ driveways on Main Street, walls from nine to 12 feet would be required on the east and west side of the bridge. Eleven feet of clearance would be required, and this option also requires a temporary bridge. Cost would be $30.5 to 32.3 million.
Alternative 6, rehabilitation of existing bridge. No residential or commercial displacements. Cost $9.6 million. If the bridge was rehabilitated, it would require one lane of traffic over the bridge with signals on each side during the 12 to 14 months of work, and could possibly be closed for two weeks. Rehabilitation would consist of electrical and deck work. There would be no new substructure. A rehabilitated bridge would have a life span of approximately 50 years.
The construction time frame for a new bridge has not yet been determined, but may be approximately two years. An alternative temporary bridge could be constructed either to the north or south of the existing bridge. A temporary bridge to the south would require relocation of one residential and one out building and may require relocation of transmission lines. The cost would be $7 million. A temporary bridge to the north could impact the village boat launch and Wolf River Resort piers. The cost would be $8.8 million.
Operation costs include money for bridge tenders, and for technicians to check bridge function. One suggestion made was to have the draw of the bridge operated by remote by a bridge tender in Oshkosh to save operation cost.
A third public information meeting will be scheduled for this summer.
Following the meeting, a petition with just under 600 signatures was presented to Robert Wagner, WisDOT project manager, on behalf of the Winneconne Historic Preservation Commission. The title of the petition was “Petition to Request Rehabilitation of Existing Bridge Over Wolf River at Hwy 116.” It read, We, the undersigned, support the rehabilitation and restoration of the Winneconne Bridge. Additional petitions are still in circulation and will be presented at a later date.
Anyone interested in purchasing copies of the bridge alternatives may stop at the office of Rogers Printing Solutions.