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Business North - The Daily Briefing - Business Newspaper Online
Tower Avenue re-opened Tuesday
North Tower Avenue in Superior re-opened to traffic Tuesday afternoon.
Reconstruction began in mid April on the $14 million project, which was funded by federal, state and local government. Street pavement, sidewalks and utilities were replaced during the project. Some of Tower Avenue’s concrete dated back to 1914 and the rest to 1935.
“North Tower’s long-needed upgrades have been completed on time and on budget, and the result is a beautiful new streetscape that will become the centerpiece of our downtown’s continuing revitalization,” Mayor Bruce Hagen said in a news release. “I invite everyone to take a look for themselves at the attractive new lighting and paving, new parking and the many pedestrian-friendly enhancements throughout.”
Hagen added that while all areas for vehicles and pedestrians are fully open, plantings and other final landscaping will be completed next spring, which has always been the timeline because of weather considerations.
“The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s staff in Superior did an outstanding job coordinating and implementing this construction, while also working closely with the Business Improvement District, the Chamber, Development Association and others to seek public input and keep everyone informed,” said Hagen. “We also appreciate the great work of the Superior Public Works Department and Chippewa Concrete Services, which worked through all kinds of weather to ensure this project was completed as quickly as possible. And the biggest thank you of all goes to Superior’s citizens for their patience and flexibility these past six months.”
Kaye Tenerelli, executive director of the Superior Business Improvement District, thanked downtown businesses for their diligence and patience during construction.
“No business wants their front door blocked off for six months, but the business owners did a great job of communicating with their customers and creating new reasons for people to visit them,” she said. “We thank our downtown business community for its forward-thinking approach during construction. Now that North Tower is back open, downtown businesses have a better environment than ever for serving their customers.”
Prior to reconstruction, the BID produced a “We Dig Downtown Superior Toolkit” for downtown businesses, which included posters and brochures to inform customers, as well as tips for helping businesses market themselves during construction. The BID’s public education campaign also included radio and TV advertising.
“Completion of the North Tower Avenue reconstruction, combined with last week’s reopening of all lanes on the Blatnik Bridge, make Downtown Superior a convenient destination for visitors as well as residents,” said David Minor, president and CEO of The Chamber. “The momentum in Superior continues to build.”
The design, which took years to formulate, represents a vast departure from the existing four-lane roadway
• It features eight-foot parking lanes.
• A bike lane has been added, which was required of projects that receive federal funds.
• Driving lanes are be 12-feet wide.
• A raised 12-foot-wide center median was constructed from Belknap to North Eighth Street, and a narrower flat median from North Eighth to North Third Streets, which is part of a truck route.
• New lighting was installed at intersections.
• Traffic signals were moved from the intersection of Hammond Avenue and Broadway Street to the official truck route at Hammond and Winter Street.
• Sidewalks were replaced by scored, colored concrete.
Some amenities will be added in 2014, primarily trees and other vegetation that are part of the project’s $1.5 million streetscaping element.Previous Daily Briefing Articles:
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