Drivers who use Highway V be aware: the road is closing to all traffic Monday for approximately three weeks.
The installation of a large – 48-inch – sanitary sewer pipe under the roadway is prompting the closure between Washington Avenue and Spring Street though construction is weather dependent.
Racine County Director of Racine County Public Works and Development Services Julie Anderson announced the closure Friday in a press release.
To get around the construction, motorists are advised to add 10 minutes to their trips by using Highway H north to Spring Street instead of Highway V.
Highway V resident Don Schulz said property owners were told there will be a 24-foot deep and 6-foot wide trench down the east side of the road and cutting across the the street just north of Washington Avenue and back up the west side, which necessitates the closure of the road.
“Normally work goes down one side and then the other, but this one is different,” he said. “Because of the size of the trench for the large pipe, the whole road needs to close, and there will be a little bit of time for settling.”
Residents knew the work was coming, Schulz added, but they weren’t notified of a specific start date. Still, he doesn’t think the project will take the entire three weeks unless weather is a problem.
To get to and from their homes, property owners will have to use northbound V to Spring Street and then continue on their journeys.
Sewer and water is being run along Highway V from Caledonia down to Highway 20 in Mount Pleasant as part of a development plan for Caledonia in the immediate future and for Mount Pleasant in a few years. What was supposed to be closed system would not have cost the residents on Highway V anything, but village officials say installing a gravity system instead helps prepare for future commercial development in the area.
Having a gravity system means homeowners on Highway V would typically be required to hook up for both sewer and water, but Mount Pleasant trustees voted last year to change village ordinance the eliminates that requirement.
Property owners on Highway V in both villages have been vehemently opposed to the special assessments because, they say, potential commercial growth and not residential need is behind the project.
Caledonia trustees earlier this year approved special assessments to pay for the village’s portion of the project, and while the Mount Pleasant board did the same thing, members there voted in August to reconsider their special assessment.
An ad hoc committee was put together, of which Schulz is a part, to construct a plan or plans on how the village should fund certain infrastructure projects.
Schulz told Racine County Eye that committee discussions have centered around looking at the Highway V project as more of a regional improvement that residents along Highways V, K, and C would pay into instead of just targeting the property owners on V. He stressed that the final language has not yet been determined or brought before the Mount Pleasant Village Board.