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North Rusk Reconstruction Project


Construction has started and we have another change of plan.  

The contractor (Gerke) has begun removing the asphalt on Rusk Avenue at the Broadway Street intersection and is moving south to Parkinson. This is a change from the last update. The block of Rusk from Linton to Broadway will not be impacted until later.

After the asphalt is removed the surface will still be drivable and driveways will be accessible until excavation occurs, which is expected Thursday. If you have a driveway on the west side of Rusk, between Broadway and Parkinson, your access will be impacted. In this situation you may be required to park on the side streets for some period of time. If you have accessibility needs please contact Sarah (contact info below) or talk to Mike on site, if you have not already.

It is expected that on Thursday, the contractor will begin installing watermain on Rusk between Broadway and Parkinson. If you live in or near this stretch, your water service will be disrupted. All of the affected properties will have a notice posted to the front door in the next day or two (for 48hr notice) and you also will be called by the City. The interruption should be short (1 hr or less) but construction is always variable so plan for a longer interruption. It is always good to store water when construction is in your area.


And just like that we have our first weather related change. Due to this week’s rains affecting the contractor’s current projects, the contractor is delayed a week. The North Rusk Avenue project is now scheduled to start July 15th.


It’s go time!

The contractor, Gerke Construction, has notified the City that they plan to start next week, July 8th. You may see surveyors out marking the construction area. Please leave flags and survey stakes in place. The contractor will remove them when they are done with them.

The plan for the first phase is to start at the northernmost end of the project, Linton and Rusk, with watermain and continue south ending at Church Street. Weather and other unforeseen circumstance make construction plans variable, however, the plan is to remove the asphalt surface on Monday and start installing watermain on Tuesday.

You should see me and other City staff on-site periodically but we will have an inspector on-site nearly all of the time, Mike Barfknecht. Mike works with our consultant Vierbicher Associates. He is very helpful and friendly, feel free to go to him with any questions and concerns as well. Access to properties and disruptions to water service are continually being considered. We will communicate with the affected property renters and owners as soon as possible.

Please contact Sarah Grainger, City Engineer at 608-637-7154 ext. 20 or with any questions.

If you know someone who would like to be added to the mailing list please also contact

The North Rusk Avenue project is full street reconstruction where watermain, sewer main, sidewalk and the road surface are replaced. We are also adding storm sewer where there has not previously been storm sewer. The road cross-section is also changing slightly in some areas.The construction project area is North Rusk Avenue from Parkinson to Linton, Church Street from Rusk to North East Avenue and Washington Avenue from Church St. to Parkinson St. Please see map above.

The current plan is for construction to start in mid-July. The project is anticipated to last 2-3 months. Please note that scheduling in construction is difficult. Weather, material availability, underground surprises and unplanned delays inevitably will change the schedule. The City thanks you in advance for understanding the expected schedule changes.

Also subject to change is project sequencing. The City expects the project will start at the Broadway and Rusk Street intersection. From there the project will likely move south to Church Street.

There are a number of items that are important for landowners to be aware of:

  1. Property Access – Pedestrian access to properties will always be maintained. Vehicular access will be restricted at times depending on the location of excavation. As soon as possible we will create a drive-able gravel surface. Anyone with accessibility concerns should contact Sarah Grainger in order to develop alternative plans.
  2. Temporary Limited Easements (TLE) – Sarah Grainger may be in contact with some landowners regarding TLEs. TLEs are optional. They are temporary agreements allowing the City access to the front 15ft of your property to perform grading. For those who have a steep driveway this will be particularly important if you want to minimize the current steep grade. 
  3. Temporary water – Temporary water may be used during this project. That means for a period of time your water may be serviced from above ground hosing until the connection to the watermain is reestablished. We will notify you 48 hrs in advance of water shut off unless in an emergency situation. Further to this, any time construction is near your property it is a good idea to fill buckets of water in case water service is disrupted unexpectedly.
  4. Replacement of water and sewer services from your property line to your serviced structure is optional unless you have galvanized property-side service connected to a galvanized city-side service. If you have property-side galvanized service pipe connected to galvanized pipe on the city-side you will be asked to replace your service. The City has funding in place for these galvanized to galvanized replacements as they are considered lead services. Please discuss this funding with Sarah Grainger. You can also visit the lead replacement program webpage at this link for more information. When we excavate your service, the City will replace the line from the main to your property line. We will inform you of the condition of your line and the materials as seen at the property line. It is significantly more economical to replace old lines when we excavate in front of your home. If you have recently replaced your service you likely have the correct materials and they are in good condition. If you aren’t aware of the service material or if you are not sure if it has been replaced you should contact a plumber about the potential for work. We will not be able to tell you until the last minute the exact day we will be excavating in front of your property. Please start making contacts with plumbers now. For low income property owners, Couleecap has funding options for you. Please contact Taylor LeJeune, Outreach Assistant, Couleecap, Inc. at 608-796-9062 or There are also options to have the water or sewer service replacement cost assessed to your taxes over a 5 year period. Please contact Sarah Grainger about this option.

Please contact Sarah Grainger, City Engineer at 608-637-7154 ext. 20 or with any questions.

If you know someone who would like to be added to the mailing list please also contact Sarah at