Downtown bridge’s years are numbered

May 21, 2019

By Christina Luick


The downtown bridge over the Rock River will be getting some work done in the future.

The Watertown Common Council will discuss entering an agreement with the state’s Department of Transportation for the plan development and design of Cole Memorial bridge on Main Street during its meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the council chambers of the municipal building.

The agreement would require the city to fund 25 percent for the plan development and design fees, which are estimated at $133,750. This would be funded from the city’s bridges capital reserve account.

The concrete spandrel arch structure was built in 1931 and City Engineer Jaynellen Holloway said it is coming to the end of its lifespan.

“It’s been put on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation program for replacement,” she said. “It’s currently in the Wisconsin of Department of Transportation’s funding plan to reconstruct this bridge in 2026.”

She added the preliminary engineer’s estimated cost to reconstruct the bridge is approximately $5 million.

“At this point right now, (the Wisconsin Department of Transportation) would be paying 100 percent of this because (Main Street) is a state Trunk Highway 19 through town, so it is the state’s bridge,” Holloway said.

In other business, the council will review an initial resolution for the city to provide industrial development bond financing for up to $6 million to Ad-Tech Industries Inc. for its building expansion.

The custom coating and nickel plating business located at 110 S. Votech Drive is looking to construct an approximately 59,840-square-foot addition to its existing 163,200-square-foot facility, according to the preliminary resolution.

Two ordinances on their second and final readings will be reviewed by the council. One ordinance would adopt amendments to the 2009 city of Watertown Comprehensive Plan.

The other ordinance would change zoning for 111 and 211 Hiawatha St. and 907 Oak St. from general business to general industrial.

GO Riteway purchased three parcels on Hiawatha and Oak streets for outdoor storage of buses, according to Zoning Administrator Jacob Maas.

The council will give two ordinances their first readings for creating the job duties of the new position of a code compliance officer. Dell Zwieg was recently hired into this position.

One ordinance would amend a chapter regarding the issuance of citations in the city’s municipal code of ordinances by adding the code compliance officer, which would allow this position to issue citations for ordinances that directly relate to their official responsibilities.

The other ordinance modifies a chapter in the city’s code for property maintenance to allow the code compliance officer to initiate a commercial inspection on his own accord, according to the minutes from the Public Safety and Welfare Committee.

The council will also review a resolution that would authorize the zoning and floodplain administrator and grant write to submit an application for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for a Urban Nonpoint Sources and Storm Water Management Planning grant.

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