North Main Street improvements

A Village of Oregon rendering depicts North Main Street and County MM improvements to start this May.

Residents and businesses along North Main Street can expect water shutoffs and driveway limitations during the Village of Oregon and Dane County’s reconstruction project this summer.

And for travelers, traffic will at times be limited to a single lane each way, public works director Jeff Rau told the Observer in an email.

An April 7 public information meeting about upcoming improvements to North Main and County Highway provided an overview of the $2.5 million project that is scheduled to start in May. The virtual meeting had around two dozen attendees.

Improvements will include sanitary manhole and sewer lining reconstructions, a water main installation and the removal of curb and gutter, all from Grove Street to northern village limits.

The three-month long project is part of a long-term agreement the Village of Oregon made with the county to jurisdictionally transfer the ownership and maintenance of highways through the village, which includes North Main Street, Rau told the Observer last month.

Oregon to become fully responsible for Hwy. MM maintenance

The county and village have agreed to split project duties and costs down the middle, Rau said. The county is paying $950,000, and the village around $960,000 — with an additional $650,000 for utility fixes.

During the meeting, attendees inquired about how long the construction would take, potential water shutoffs during the initial water main installation, how improvements would affect nearby businesses and residents, plans for alternative routes and bike lanes.

Rau, along with Brian Berquist of Town and Country Engineering and Susan LeBrun from the county, told attendees the project would conclude in August, after being completed in phases to minimize traffic congestion and impediments.

The first phase of the North Main Street project will include sanitary manhole and sewer lining reconstructions, as well as new water main installation that will be contracted out at the April 19 Village Board meeting, Rau said.

“For businesses that immediately border Main Street, water service laterals also need to be installed,” he said addressing water shutoff concerns. “A planned shutdown of up to four hours is sometimes required to make the connections of the new water later to the existing water lateral.”

“The contractor and engineers will notify and work with businesses to determine if there is a better time to make those connections,” Rau added.

The next two phases, which both the village and county will pay for, include removing all the remaining curb and gutter from Grove Street to the northern Oregon boundary.

The county will also redo the asphalt from McDonald’s, 1029 N. Main St. going north to the intersection of Highway 14 and County MM, Rau said.

LeBrun said during the April 7 meeting that will include the installation of bike lanes, which seemed to please some attendees on the Zoom call.

During the second and third phases, local traffic will be allowed with single lanes in each direction. Driveways to businesses and residences will remain open, but may receive temporary gravel options, he said.

“The only times that driveways will be unavailable will be during the prep, pouring and curing of new concrete aprons and sidewalks,” Rau said. “During these times, residents will not be able to use the driveway approach for nearly seven days.”

Some businesses will have alternative access points, while some will need a contractor to pour a gravel driveway “in two sections” leaving one section open each time for access, he said.

LeBrun recommended travelers try to avoid North Main Street as much as they can during the project, using alternative roads like Market Street.

“Any project that has impacts to a busy corridor is always difficult and can be challenging for all parties involved,” Rau wrote. “All are committed to making sure that business acces will remain throughout the project and single lane traffic will be maintained for local traffic at all times.”

Email Emilie Heidemann at emilie.heidemann@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at @HeidemannEmilie.

Emilie Heidemann joined Unified Newspaper Group in 2018, where she serves as the community and business editor for four publications, as well as a quarterly magazine. Emilie covers the Village of Oregon and Fitchburg community beat.