Germantown — It has been a long summer for regular drivers of Willow Creek Road, but the wait is almost over. The road is expected to be re-opened around Labor Day weekend, after having been closed for reconstruction since June 23.
At an estimated cost of about $714,000, the road work between Appleton Avenue and Amy Belle Road has taken longer than anticipated primarily due to a discovery made pretty early in the reconstruction process, according to Village Engineer Brionne Blischke.
The material beneath the rapidly deteriorating 1.2-mile stretch of road was in worse shape than anticipated, which delayed the process by about four weeks due to the additional work required to bring the road up to standard.
"We wanted to be done by now, but sometimes you don't know how much work is necessary until you get below the surface," Blischke explained.
Weather is another factor, Blischke said, and may impact the last phases of the project as well. The goal is to complete two rounds of paving prior to the first day of school on Tuesday, Sept. 2, as Willow Creek is a main thoroughfare to reach Amy Belle School.
"We definitely want to take our time and do it right so we end up with a road that lasts 20 years or more instead of one that lasts five," Blischke said.
In the meantime, patience from neighboring residents and their visitors is dwindling, as the closure of the road has made for a challenging summer. The average daily traffic of 2,000 vehicles per day along the narrow corridor prompted village staff to close the road for the safety of the construction workers.
"When we first closed the road, drivers were driving through the barricades and endangering the construction workers," Blischke said. "We asked the police department to enforce, and at times one officer would have four vehicles pulled over for ticketing."
Police Chief Peter Hoell confirmed that 16 traffic stops were documented since the road closed in June, which does not include an unknown number of verbal warnings police gave without documentation.
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