By Bob Uphues
Brookfield's village engineer last week rolled out plans for the 2019 street resurfacing program, with roadways concentrated north of 31st Street, along with the entire length of Broadway Avenue, up for improvement.
Next year will mark the halfway point for Brookfield's eight-year, $22 million street improvement campaign, which by its end in 2023 will have resurfaced, reconstructed or patched about 15.3 miles – or roughly 37 percent -- of the village's residential side streets.
The bulk of the roadway improvements were front loaded into the first three years of the campaign. During that time, Brookfield improved the worst of its streets – some 10.6 miles of roadway -- and expended a little more than half of the $22 million in construction bonds approved by voters in 2016.
In addition, the village has spent about $2.3 million from its water and sewer fund to repair or replace sewer pipes and drainage structures at the same time roads were being improved.
About 4.7 miles of streets await improvement over the next five years, and Brookfield also plans on making another $2 million in sewer system repairs as that work takes place.
"We're really mowing through it pretty quickly," said Village Engineer Derek Treichel. "There's a chance, depending on how much money we want to spend each of the next four or five years, you may be able to get this done a year earlier [than 2023]."
Next year's $2.9 million street improvement program includes repairs to almost two miles of roadway and another $927,500 in associated sewer system fixes.
In 2019, Treichel said most of the work would be concentrated on streets north of 31st Street, including:
Park Avenue and Vernon Avenue, from 29th Street to 31st Street
Sunnyside Avenue, from Bartlett Avenue to 31st Street
Roach Avenue and Bartlett Avenue, from Sunnyside Avenue to Maple Avenue
30th Street, from Forest Avenue to Maple Avenue
"Most of those streets were amongst the worst of the remaining streets that are left," Treichel told members of the village board at their Oct. 8 meeting.
Treichel said with the worst of the worst streets already improved, it made sense financially to pick an area for improvement.
"We think we'll get a little more attractive bid prices," Treichel said.
Two other streets north of 31st Street that trustees indicated they were interested in improving next year were Prairie Avenue, from 29th Street to 31st Street and Forest Avenue from 30th to 31st Street.
Treichel said he would include the streets in an engineering agreement for the 2019 improvements that trustees will vote to approve later this month.
If those streets are included in next year's package, the village will have resurfaced every street north of 31st Street identified for improvement prior to the 2016 referendum.
Broadway Ave. set for improvement
More than $1.3 million will be spent in 2019 on street and sewer improvements along the entire length of Broadway Avenue, which will disrupt traffic and parking patterns, particularly east of the memorial circle, where Broadway Avenue will be completely reconstructed.
The road improvement project will not be as elaborate as officials suggested it might be late last year. In late 2017, the village applied to the state for a $2 million grant that would help pay for a $5.3 million complete makeover of the roadway and streetscape along the entire length of Broadway Avenue.
However, the village failed to obtain the grant, and instead of delaying the street improvements and applying again for the funding, Brookfield will move ahead with street improvements alone.
Whether or not the improvements will result in the diagonal parking spaces moving from the along the median to the business sides of the street is unresolved, but Treichel said his firm would design the street with both configurations and village officials can decide prior to seeking bids for the work in February 2019.
The project will be complicated somewhat by construction at S.E. Gross Middle School, where construction vehicles will still require access along Broadway Avenue. Treichel said that access to businesses and to the school will be figured into the planning.
"The staging of construction on Broadway will be one of the main design elements," said Treichel. Just [providing access to] the businesses alone require a lot of staging."
There will be different through traffic and parking restrictions for each phase of work – sewer, concrete and paving -- on Broadway, said Treichel, and it will proceed in quadrants in order to provide as much as access as possible.
"There are additional costs with all of this staging, but it has to be done," Treichel said. "We can't just shut down one side of the circle with no parking and no through traffic."