The public Tuesday night got a look at a major street project in Rhinelander that could take one to two years to finish and cost nearly $18 million dollars.
Rhinelander has secured enough funding to move forward on the remake of Stevens Street, from Frederick Street all the way to the Chippewa Drive bypass on the city's northeast side.
Public Works Director Tim Kingman says they've secured more than $5 million in grant money and are looking for a contractor with an eye toward getting the most work done with the least inconvenience for the public...
"..We would attempt to complete the work that is from Frederick St. to Phillips St. in a timely fashion early in the season. Ideally, this would happen before the end of school. It also would get us in under the major traffic of our tourism...."
He says that would aid the traffic flow during the summer, with a hope of being done with that short segment by the first week in June. He says the contractor will continue working north over the rest of the summer. He says one idea is to have one crew start at the south end of the project, and another crew at the north end...
"...We would have an early completion date on the south end of the project. We would want to be free and clear of the north end of this project for that 'little' music festival we have each year(in July.) Our motorists coming in from the north and the bypass would need to get out to the Hodag grounds and we're trying to accommodate that..."
Kingman says besides weather, the size of the contracting company will determine how fast the project moves forward.The area starting at Dwight Street to the north will likely have two lanes of traffic during the work.The area from the downtown area north will likely be closed during parts of construction to through traffic, except for local access to homes.
The work being done is an entire rebuild of Stevens St., from sidewalk to sidewalk, including the underground utilities.