Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Will Janesville rebuild Randall Avenue yet this year?

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Greg Peck
Thursday, September 5, 2013

The city rebuilt part of Randall Avenue on Janesville's east side a year or two ago. I thought another rough section was scheduled for resurfacing this year. The city even did work around some sewer grates, no doubt boosting hopes of motorists that smooth pavement would be coming soon.

It crossed my mind that perhaps the city was waiting to proceed with repaving until Rock County 4-H Fair week, but such cynicism was unfair. At any rate, we ran a story Aug. 22 suggesting that, for many projects, the end of summer means the end of construction. Among projects winding down were reconstruction of South River and Pearl streets in Janesville and County O in Walworth County.

So I wondered: What about that lumpy stretch of Randall Avenue? I sent an email to Carl Weber, public works director. He was out of the office a few days but last week sent a response.

Plans to reconstruct Randall between Sherman and Hawthorne avenues were pulled from the 2013 contract at the time of award because of funding limitations, he told me.

“On each contract, we maintain a conservative contingency amount, at the time of award, because the amount of base repair required is not clear until after the existing upper surface is milled,” Weber wrote. “Our strategy with Randall was to complete prep work such as structure and curb repair and defer a decision on resurfacing until most of the other streets in the program are completed. If the amount of necessary base repair is limited and we have sufficient funds remaining, we would complete all or part of the resurfacing of these sections of Randall Avenue in 2013.”

Did you follow that? Here's the good news. Sort of.

It appears, Weber wrote, that the city will have sufficient contingency money remaining to complete resurfacing of Randall from Creston Park to Randolph Road this year but will defer the work from Sherman to Hawthorne until 2014.

“From early prep work, it appears that the base repair needed on the Sherman-to-Hawthorne section may be substantial and exceed our available funds,” Weber continued. “Those blocks will then become the top priority for the 2014 program and will allow us to complete all the necessary base repair as well as the final surface.

“Since the curb and structure repair has been completed this year, we may be able to program Randall as one of the first streets in the 2014 program to be completed. Based on the latest biannual condition rating completed this summer (after the 2013 project was awarded), it appears likely that we will be including the blocks between Hawthorne and Creston Park in 2014, as well.”

So there you have it. Expect some Randall Avenue repairs yet this year and the rest next year.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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