Elm Grove workers are taking down trees along Juneau Boulevard to prepare for construction of an asphalt off-road pathway, which could occur this spring if the village gets a favorable bid next month.
In June, the village received two bids from companies wanting to take on the work. Those bids came in higher than expected, and the village decided to turn down both. That, in turn, ended hopes of getting construction under way this year. The village had estimated $234,000 for the project, but both bids were more than $100,000 greater than that amount.
Those bids came in during peak construction season, Village Manager David DeAngelis said, one of the worst times to bid out a project because many companies already have jobs. By bidding in January, he thinks the village will get more options from companies setting up their schedule for the year.
Hoping to start construction in spring or early summer, Public Works Director Richard Paul said the project likely will take a couple months to finish. Village officials are still discussing whether traffic will have to be diverted during parts of construction.
The pathway will run on the north side of Juneau Boulevard from Highland Drive to west of the railroad tracks. Some residents have expressed concerns about the path, worrying about damage to trees and stormwater runoff, but Paul said he thinks residents will come around once it is complete.
"It's a disruption for the neighbors for a little while, but I think most people will enjoy it once it's in," he said. "It'll allow access in a safe manner."
The village has discussed other possible sites for paths in the past, including Gebhardt Road, Highland Drive, Watertown Plank Road, Berkshire Drive and along the Canadian Pacific Railway. Paul said village officials are still discussing options, but haven't decided to move forward on any.
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