By Dave Fidlin


It’s more than three years off into the horizon, but planning for an extensive overhaul of portions of Clay Street is already underway within the City of Whitewater.

The Common Council on Nov. 15 approved a document known as a task order that sets in motion the plans to reconstruct Clay Street, between Dann and Rice streets. When construction equipment populates the area, several stormwater improvements also will occur.

The Clay Street project is planned in 2020 as part of the city’s long-range capital improvement project. The council’s recent motion is the first in a series of planning-related exercises that are taking place behind the scenes.

The city is contracting with engineering firm Strand Associates for the planning aspects of the word. Milwaukee-based Strand has performed a series of similar projects on the city’s behalf in years past.

As outlined in the terms of the agreement for this specific project, Strand’s compensation has been capped at $263,000 and includes an hourly compensation plan.

Assistant City Manager Chris McDonell, who has been spearheading the project on the municipality’s behalf, said Strand’s compensation for this specific Clay Street project is higher than similar, recent work.

“This task order is significantly higher, due to additional work required in order to comply with the (Wisconsin Department of Transportation) grant requirements,” McDonell said.

The city was able to secure a $1.35 million grant for the actual construction work, and officials believe the extra steps and expense in the planning phase will yield a cost savings in the long run.

The Clay Street work is closely intertwined with a previously announced project along Esterly Street. Combined, the two projects are expected to cost $3.2 million. In addition to planning and construction, the figure includes a 10 percent contingency fund for unexpected expenses that might occur.



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