Expect to see a lot of orange around Verona this summer.
Numerous construction and building projects are slated to start as early as mid-April, with some projects already started, such as the complete structural overhaul of Shuman Street, which runs behind Miller and Sons Supermarket downtown, and the massive County Hwy. M project.
City projects include resurfacing bridges on Old Hwy. PB, reconstructing parking lots at the library, the old library and the senior center, asphalt rehabilitation on both East Verona Avenue and East Harriet Street and the M and PD corridor, a 14-month, $50 million project jointly funded by the cities of Verona and Madison, Dane County and the federal government.
A few project timelines on the eastern and southern sides of the city are being dictated by a sole event – the Ironman Wisconsin race, which brings competitors through and around Verona. That race requires some projects to wrap up prior to the Sept. 9 race and some to hold off on closing certain portions of the roads until afterward.
And the new high school breaks ground April 24, with dirt movers already on site and preparing for the start of that $182 million, two-year project.
What won’t be seen this year is the construction of Festival Foods, as the company has pushed back the start of the project by about a year from their initial projections. The West End mixed-use development is also expected to be pushed back a year or so, to a possible 2019 start.
There is expected to be construction of other businesses, however.
Though the cranes are gone and new projects have slowed, Epic is still working on its Storybook Campus (aka Campus 5).
Along East Verona Avenue, The Keenan Court projects of Big Apple Daycare and True Studio are still in progress, and the McDonald’s on Horizon Drive is working on a face-lift and parking lot changes.
On the south side of the city, the long-planned VeloCity project on Paoli Street is under construction this year, as are homes at Hometown Grove on the southeast side. The Kettle Creek North subdivision is in progress on the north side, the small remaining piece of Cross Point Estates is going up on the west side and an industrial building on Commerce Parkway is expected to start.
The Sugar Creek Commons apartment-retail-hotel project on West Verona Avenue is in the midst of coordinating agreements and returning for an adjustment next month, but a memo from its developer this month said it plans to begin construction on the two buildings closest to West Verona Avenue this year.
The state Department of Transportation’s salt shed east of the city off U.S. Hwy. 18-151 is also under construction, and the building itself is planned to be completed by early August, though it’s not clear whether the salt shed will be operational.
The status of other projects is uncertain, including the North Main Street senior apartments, the Noel Manor memory care facility and buildings at Liberty Park and the old industrial park, any or all of which could start this year.
Hwys. M/PD and PB
Commuters will likely feel the effects of road construction on major highways throughout Verona in the upcoming months.
Old Hwy. PB is planned to close May 1 for rehabilitation work on the bridges. All work is contractually obligated to be finished by the time Ironman Wisconsin starts Sept. 9.
As Ironman competitors set out on their 112-mile bike course that takes them twice through Verona on the day of the race, their route takes them over the bridges twice.
In the interim, drivers will be detoured along County Hwy. M into the city’s downtown.
County Hwy. M will see its own fair share of work this year at the southern and northern ends of Verona, some of which will prompt closures.
The construction on M on the northern side of the city, starting at Cross County Road and ending at Prairie Hill Road in Madison, is slated to be complete by fall 2019.
However, the portion within city limits should be wrapped up by mid-November 2018.
Much of the construction on County Hwy. M will be road reconstruction and replacement of water and sewer mains.
In the upcoming months, commuters can expect the highways to be open, but with traffic patterns altered, dropping down to one lane in each direction and the potential for – but not yet anticipated – temporary road closures on weekends.
Bike and ped
Construction on the southern end Hwy. M – now South Main Street – is part of the bicycle and pedestrian improvements the city is working on, a multimillion-dollar, multi-year project to encourage residents to bike and walk more.
The city chose four projects to start with and did some of the work late last year. Two of the four will lead part of South Main Street to close in the fall after PB is reopened.
The projects will be bid out April 17, like many of the other projects being completed in the city this summer, and are slated to be under construction from May to October. At one point, part of M is expected to close for a 4-6 week period, but only after the Sept. 9 Wisconsin Ironman event.
Two sidewalks and pathway projects are planned around the intersection of Locust Drive, totaling 4,720 new feet of sidewalk and pathways and an estimated cost of $765,800.
To complete the project, light poles will need to be relocated, bike lanes will be added on a section north of Whalen Road and a 150-foot wall will be built just north of the intersection.
The July 2016 Verona Bike and Pedestrian Study cites connecting southern neighborhoods to the rest of the city and better access to Glacier Edge Elementary School as the primary benefits.
The city is in the final stages of purchasing the final parcels for the project.
A much smaller, but wide-ranging part of the project this year is creating six bike loops throughout the city by installing identifying signs along the routes for $74,400.
All the bike loops would come together at Hometown Junction, along the Military Ridge State Trail.
County M will also get medians at the intersections at Locust and Prairie Heights Drives, like the one that was installed last year at Whalen Road, along with extensions of the existing crossworks and flashing beacons at each intersection to alert drivers of pedestrians in the crosswalks.
Other noticeable projects this year include concrete rehabilitation on East Verona Avenue, fixing major parking lots and rebuilding downtown roads, along with the usual repaving work.
The road rehabilitation on East Verona Avenue will be from the Badger Prairie Health Care Center to the city limits and will focus on repairing the portion of the road that is considered the “driving surface,” Jacobsen said. The project will be bid out April 17.
Along with the East Verona Avenue rehabilitation will be an evaluation of the timing of the traffic signal at the intersection of East Verona Avenue and Old Hwy. PB, Jacobson said.
South Shuman Street and Park Lane downtown are undergoing structural overhauls that include the replacement of public utilities like water and sewer mains.
Other roads near the downtown, like East Harriet Street from Main Street to Noel Way and the 100 block of Gilman Street, will be repaved in the next few months.
The parking lots at the Verona Public Library on Silent Street, the former library building on Franklin Street and the Verona Senior Center on Paoli Street will also be receiving a facelift. All will stay open, Jacobson said – it’ll just change what door visitors can enter the facilities through.
The projects are expected to take 6-8 weeks, with half of each parking lot being closed down at a time. Construction work to replace the parking lot entrances, sidewalks, curbs and asphalt began early this month.