Getting around Washington Avenue, Douglas Avenue rehabs in Racine

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For drivers in Racine trying to get from Point A to Point B, 2018 is proving to be challenging. Bordering at times on impossible.

A pair of major road construction projects on Washington Avenue (Wisconsin Highway 20) and Douglas Avenue (Wisconsin Highway 32) have resulted in block after block of closed lanes, blocked intersections and an obstacle course. It is not unusual to have to drive around large construction equipment, piles of aggregate and huge holes in the pavement.

Regular folks aren’t the only people who have to figure out how to maneuver the almost daily construction-driven changes. Emergency services, such as fire and police protection, are even more affected.

“We get updates from the DOT, the county, and the city,” said Racine Fire Department Lt. John Magnus. “So there are three levels of road construction going on all the time. We do workarounds, in the morning, when we know what’s going to be closed.”

Racine Fire Department stations

Magnus explained that department personnel conduct driver training to determine the best route to areas potentially blocked by road construction. “We do that daily,” he said. “Our people will notice something on the way in to work and say, ‘Let’s go take a look at that.’”

The department has, in previous years, adjusted the areas covered by certain stations to compensate for blocked streets or other construction-related difficulties. Magnus described that move as “drastic” and, so far, the department has not taken that action this year.

Highway 20
Streets closed for reconstruction affect more than just casual drivers. The Racine Fire Department conducts daily assessments of closed and blocked streets to assure its equipment can get to the scene of a fire quickly.

Preparing for possible blocked or restricted access to a street, house or neighborhood is part of the fire department’s reaction to the construction. It has developed a 4-wheel-drive pickup truck equipped with a large diameter hose and equipment to put multiple attack lines in the hands of firefighters. “Basically, it’s a water main from the hydrant to wherever it’s needed,” said Magnus. Even if an engine can’t make it directly to the spot of the fire, water from multiple lines can be put to work.

Washington Avenue road work ABCs

LOCATION From West Boulevard to Marquette Street in the city of Racine

SCHEDULE 2018 Mid-June to October

WHAT’S HAPPENING? Approximately 1.5 miles of Washington Avenue will be resurfaced. New curb ramps will be installed along the entire length.

HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOU? During construction, Washington Avenue will be limited to eastbound traffic only.

ALSO

  • Construction activities will be completed in four stages.
  • During Stage 4, eastbound traffic will be detoured between 12th Street and 13th Street around construction via 13th Street and WIS 32.
  • Check the WisDOT project page for updates.
  • Throughout the project, westbound traffic will be detoured around construction via Main Street to 14th Street to WIS 32 to 16th Street to West Boulevard.
  • Bus routes will be affected during construction. Contact the City of Racine Transit at 262-637-9000 for route updates during construction. As of this writing, no route changes have been posted.

Douglas Avenue road work ABCs

LOCATION In Racine Main Street to Goold Street with some work reaching into Racine County

SCHEDULE 2018 Early April to November

WHAT’S HAPPENING? Reconstruction of about 1 mile of Douglas Avenue from Goold Street to Hamilton Street, along with the reconstruction of approximately 0.2 miles of Hamilton Street from Douglas Avenue to Main Street. Accompanying the street work will be new sidewalks and updated bicycle and pedestrian accommodations

HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOU? During construction, Douglas Avenue will be limited to southbound traffic only. Northbound traffic will be detoured around construction via Main Street and Goold Street or redirected to Highway 38 and Memorial Drive. Southbound traffic will stay on Douglas Avenue and detoured down to State Street.

ALSO

  • The 0.2-mile east/west segment of Hamilton Street will be closed between Douglas Avenue and Main Street.
  • Construction activities will be completed in four stages.
  • Check the WisDOT project page for updates.
  • Bus routes will be affected during construction. Contact the City of Racine Transit at 262-637-9000 for route updates during construction. As of this writing, no route changes have been posted.

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