Tower construction beginsIt has begun. Superior’s own big dig, the reconstruction of Tower Avenue from North Third to Belknap streets, started Wednesday and isn’t expected to end until October.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
It has begun.
Superior’s own big dig, the reconstruction of Tower Avenue from North Third to Belknap streets, started Wednesday and isn’t expected to end until October.
“It’s going to dramatically change downtown Superior,” said Kaye Tenerelli, executive director of the city’s Business Improvement District. Although Tower is closed, the establishments along the street will remain open for business. Limited cross-street access will be available during the project and alleys are expected to remain open.
“I encourage people to keep coming downtown,” Tenerelli said during a press event Wednesday.
Plans are in the works for fun promotions, like serving construction-cone-orange ice cream and offering customers front-row seats to the work from businesses along Tower.
“The whole thing is to make it fun, make it safe,” Tenerelli said.
The best way to do that is to watch the signs and get updates online through a variety of sources, including the BID and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT). It’s always rough at the start of a project, said Stephanie King, design project lead with the DOT.
“It takes us a while to get in the groove and make sure everybody knows how things should be working and what the issues are for access,” she said. “Be patient and as things change, there’ll be rough periods of time, then they’ll smooth back out again.”
Things will change from week to week, she said.
Customers of Tower Avenue businesses can stay safe by using back door entrances to their favorite shops during the rolling construction process.
For safety’s sake we really, really encourage them to use the alleys and the back doors,” Tenerelli said. “That’s very, very critical. It’s going to look like it’s safe, and for that moment it may be safe, but you may come out to major stuff happening.”
Eventually, she said, the sidewalks will be taken out to connect new water and sewer lines.
“So back doors are critical,” Tenerelli said.
While the DOT is looking at the full mile-long project, they are open to suggestions from people who commute in the area regularly.
“We are open to constructive criticism,” said Brandon Dirkes, DOT project manager.
“We at least look at the comments because a lot of times it may mean we can tweak something that will make it better,” King said.
Information on the construction project as well as opportunities to comment are available through the following websites: www.dot.wisconsin.gov/projects/wis35towerave, www.superiorchamber.org, www.ci.superior.wi.us, www.developmentassociation.com and www.superiorbid.com. Email the BID at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive email updates on the construction progress. Or call the BID at 715-394-3557 for more information.