Glenwood City officials meet with State regarding Highway 170 project

By Cara L. Dempski

GLENWOOD CITY — If all goes as planned, the state may be working on Highway 170 from Colfax to its western terminus in Glenwood City and the city may be asked to foot some of the cost.

Tyler Rongstad, who works for the Northwest Region of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, met with several Glenwood City officials on March 24 to provide preliminary numbers and plans for the stretch of Highway 170 that passes through the city. The numbers provided were for optional work the state could complete for the city as part of the proposed project.

Rongstad informed the board the state is looking at a two-inch “mill-and-fill” project including grinding down the road surface to level it out and then topping it with asphalt. The state is responsible for the travel lanes of the highway, but other work done in the city limits would be the municipality’s responsibility.

“Within city limits, there are certain things municipalities may want done,” Rongstad said. “Basically, early in our design process, we try to get an idea of what municipalities are interested in doing.”

The state representative presented Glenwood City’s public works director David Caress, city council member Ben DeGross, city clerk Shari Rosenow and Kevin Drum with a packet of possible options for the city to determine what work they want done while the state is completing its work.

For instance, Glenwood City has space on each side of Highway 170 for parking lanes. The city would be responsible for paving those lanes, in addition to completing any pavement markings to delineate spots. The total cost for just those two items: $21,055.12. 

Rongstad also included information on cost for roadway maintenance outside of the travel lanes on 170. He informed the city’s representatives that work on nine city streets needing attention could cost nearly $23,000.

However, if there were places where curb and gutter needed to be replaced for drainage purposes, the state would take care of the full cost. The state is also responsible for 20 feet of the side streets where they meet Highway 170. Any work that would need to be done for driveways would be the city’s responsibility.

One thing Rongstad said the city would need to consider is its water and sanitary sewer manholes and valves.

“I don’t like to adjust manholes and water valves while we’re working,” he explained. “But I really don’t see it being an issue unless you have structures that are crumbling.”

Caress indicated the last time a substantial amount of work was done on the system was in 1996. Rongstad assured the assembled group that instructions to contact the public works department or any other expert could be written into the plans so that the system remains safe for the city and there are no surprises when work begins on the roadways.

The state representative wrapped up by saying he knows there needs to be discussion among the city, but he would like to hear from them in the next six months. Once Glenwood City decides what, if anything, it would like to do as part of the project, they can get back to him and he will write up an agreement contract.

Rongstad noted once an agreement is set, the city sees no bills until construction begins.

Rosenow and Caress agreed the city could have an answer for the work it wants completed in the next six months.