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Elk Mound’s Division Street I-94 bridge down to one lane until 2017

By LeAnn R. Ralph

ELK MOUND  —  The Division Street Interstate-94 bridge out of Elk Mound damaged by a dump truck last month will be closed to only one lane of traffic until 2017 when the bridge is replaced.

Mark Levra, director of public works, reported on the Division Street bridge at the Elk Mound Village Board’s September 2 meeting.

A dump truck traveling west on I-94 with the dump box raised struck the overpass bridge shortly before midnight on Friday, August 14, causing extensive damage.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation had intended to replace the Division Street bridge overpass in 2022, Levra told the Elk Mound Village Board.

Repairing the bridge and replacing the damaged girder would cost $250,000, he said.

As a compromise, one lane will be closed on the bridge overpass until 2017, when the overpass will be replaced, Levra said.

The Division Street bridge overpass is in the Town of Elk Mound and is not within the village limits, Levra said.

Closing the bridge to only one lane of traffic will be an inconvenience for village residents, noted Brenda Carpenter, village trustee.

The one lane open to traffic is 18 feet wide, and there is a stop sign on both sides of the bridge overpass, Levra said.

The driver of the truck, Julie Ann Bluesky, 44, of Couderay, was not injured in the accident, although she was transported by private vehicle to a local hospital to be checked out.

Bluesky was operating a dump truck owned by Lac Courte Oreilles Development Corporation. She was driving the dump truck in the construction zone and apparently forgot the truck box was lifted and struck the overpass, causing substantial damage.

The dump truck box was completely torn from the truck. Debris from the overpass fell onto the westbound lane of I-94, and the lane was closed for some time for clean up and bridge inspection.

Street projects

Also at the September 2 meeting, David Wierzba and Erik Evenson of MSA Professional Services spoke to the Elk Mound Village Board about street projects on 570th Street and Garland Street.

The civil engineer Elk Mound previously used for street projects has retired, and representatives for MSA spoke to the village board last year about MSA providing engineering services to the village.

The project on 570th (also known to local residents as “the dump road”) would mostly be resurfacing, Evenson said.

The Garland Street project would be more complicated and would require narrowing the street and repairing several low spots where rain water pools, he said.

Garland is 42 feet wide, and the street project would reduce Garland to 32 to 36 feet wide, Evenson said.

Because it’s so wide and there is plenty of room, people park perpendicular in that area on Garland by the dance studio, he said.

Andy Peterson, village president, noted that village ordinances do not allow perpendicular parking on Garland, but people do it anyway.

If Garland was made into a narrower street, a boulevard could be installed between the sidewalk and street,  Evenson said.

The Dunn County Highway Department could pave 570th, and it would be a less expensive option for the village, Peterson said.

If the village board planned to complete either of the projects next year, the survey and preliminary design could be done this fall, the design could be finalized in December and the job could be advertised for bids in January, Evenson said.

The cost estimate for 570th is $206,860, and the estimate for Garland is $97,625.

The village board’s committees are starting to work on the 2016 budget, and a street project would have to be worked into the budget, Peterson said.

Street projects will be on the village board’s agenda for the October 7 meeting.

Other business 

In other business, the Elk Mound Village Board:

• Came to a consensus that the village should donate the use of the  Elk Mound Lions Club Park for an October 10 kickball tournament.

• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Amanda Lafky for the Pourhouse.

• Approved a bartender operator’s license for Rhonda Ward for the Mound’s View Store.