City approves construction projects

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In many cities in Wisconsin, summer is the time for road construction.

The city of Whitewater is no different. Over the past few weeks, the Whitewater Common Council has approved numerous construction and renovation projects in the city.

The council’s main goal with these projects is to ensure the safety of its pedestrians. Two of the projects the council approved will make sure that goal is met.

The council approved the design and authorization for contractors to bid in the Five Points Intersection April 7, allowing for the possibility of construction to begin in June.

The Five Points Intersection is located at the crossings of Walworth Avenue, Janesville Street and Summit Street.

City manager Kevin Brunner said the intersection has always been a problem intersection, and the renovations will curb some of the issues the intersection presents.

“The number of accidents and other issues we’ve had with the intersection have not been significant enough to warrant lights or any other major changes,” Brunner said. “We’re not doing a lot but the changes we’re making will help.”

Last week, the council approved the addition of a traffic island to the intersection of Franklin Street and Starin Street.

With the extension of Starin Road to the UW-Whitewater Innovation and Technology Park, city officials expect automobile traffic to increase tremendously. The addition of the island is meant to control traffic and ensure motorists are stopping at the stop signs placed at the intersection.

District 3 councilmember Jim Winship said the traffic island will increase the safety of pedestrians trying to cross the intersection to go into Starin Park.

“This one item will lead to greater safety and greater confidence in parents,” Winship said. “These parents will be able to send their 11-year-old across the street and it’s going to be safe.”

Also, the council approved the renovation of Main Street from the intersections of Whitewater Street to Second Street. The street will be resurfaced as the infrastructure underneath the street is still intact.

The center line will also be moved over three feet, eliminating some of the angle parking spots on one side of the street.