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Residents express frustration with Wisconsin Street construction

Road Construction
Posted at 5:50 PM, May 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-08 18:50:07-04

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — As Oshkosh embarks on its 20-year plan to redo a large portion of the city's sewers, one of the earliest phases of the project is drawing pushback from some residents.

Public Works Director James Rabe says that work on Wisconsin Street began about two months ago, after "four or five years" of complaints about potholes and poor surface conditions of the road.

He explained that the work currently being done on the street will both upgrade the storm sewers below and improve road conditions at the surface. He acknowledged the construction process will be painful for people who live in the area, but says the end result will be worth it.

"It's inconvenient during construction for sure," said Rabe. "But given the condition the street surface was in and the underground utilities, I think the feedback that we've been getting is it's long overdue and people are ready for this to be completely redone and be a nice new street."

Some Wisconsin Street residents, including Lee Evans, say the process has been very "inconvenient" for them, even though he agrees that work is needed to be done.

"One day we had our water turned off sporadically, we had to go without water for about six hours," Evans said. "Sometimes I may have to run into my job, unscheduled, and it's hard to do that when you can't get out of your driveway."

Evans says he also feels frustrated he hasn't been told exactly what's going on, "I'm not even entirely sure what this project entails…it could have been done better."

Rabe says the project is expected to continue into the fall and will cost roughly $4.4 million in Capital Improvement Funds.