Initial plans for two roundabouts as part of the planned reconstruction of Washington Avenue have been scrapped, much to the relief of more than two dozen West Racine residents and business owners who attended a public information meeting Wednesday at Fratt Elementary.
Eric Noston is one of the state’s consultants, and he said the roundabouts were removed because they would have been too big and required the state razing buildings.
The state is working on plans to reconstruct Washington Avenue from Roosevelt to West Blvd.
Still, residents are concerned about how much frontage they’ll lose to accommodate wider lanes and improved intersections.
Stu Brown, owner of Stu’s Auto, 3824 Washington Ave., is concerned because his business is on the corner or Lathrop and Washington and taking any land for the road and the sidewalk relocation could drastically reduce parking space.
“Depending on how they cut that corner, I could lose a lot space because of how busy I am,” he said. “I know the state will compensate me, but I don’t want that money. I want the spots because I have to retire at some point and would like to pass the shop to my son.”
State Sen. Van Wanggaard was there, and he said he talked with the consultants and feels the scope of the project is relatively simple.
“This is basically a remove-and-replace and looks pretty simple with the exception of the bicycle lanes,” he said. “But, the discussion will, I am sure, continue.”
State Department of Transportation officials were not on-hand, but preliminary timelines call for design and engineering to complete in 2019 and construction to begin in 2022.