New Berlin — Coffee Road, which has undergone extensive reconstruction this year, should open Oct. 30, about 10 working days later than initially planned, according to the city.
That's not bad considering the size of the six-month project, said city engineer J.P. Walker, though he acknowledged the closure has been difficult for Coffee Road residents.
The major east-west corridor through New Berlin had an Oct. 15 target date when work began in mid-April from Racine Avenue to Calhoun Road.
Although the project started on time, crews could not do as much as they wanted because of the wet weather early, Walker said. Thanks to a drier summer, the contractor was able to make up for lost time.
But unexpected additional work proved too extensive to keep the project on schedule. Walker said the subsoil was so poor in some places that the road couldn't simply be repaved but had to be rebuilt.
In addition to the new surface, the project made each lane one foot wider, to 12 feet, and added 5-foot paved shoulders on both sides. Also, turn lanes were added to the west side of Calhoun Road and bypass and turn lanes were installed at various other locations.
Roadside ditches that funnel stormwater safely away from homes and businesses have been regraded and storm sewers were added in two areas.
While the road will be open next week, crews will still be finishing minor work, which must be done by Nov. 9 or penalties will be assessed, Walker said.
— Jane Ford-Stewart
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