New Watertown Plank curb cuts need replacing
Ramps built at wrong pitch, halting progress
The curb ramps at crosswalks along the newly resurfaced Watertown Plank Road do not meet federal standards, Elm Grove officials said.
An investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and contractor Payne and Dolan is under way to determine how many ramps do not meet these standards. Until that determination is made, it seems difficult to determine just how costly a mistake this was.
Initial indications are that some ramps do not have the proper pitch and may not be meeting the road at the proper angle.
Elm Grove officials said the investigation is still ongoing and the exact cause of the problem, whether it was faulty plans or poor execution, remains unclear.
What is clear is that the curbs do not meet specifications in the contract since they don't meet government standards.
The Watertown Plank Road project remains unfinished as a result, since grass and some final work can't be done until the ramp issue is resolved.
Public Works Director Mike Flaherty said there are some discussions about who will pay to replace the ramps.
"I can tell you who's not paying for it: the village," Flaherty asserted.
"From the village standpoint - go get it fixed because I want the grass in as soon as possible."
Flaherty said the federal government won't pay for this either, although this was a joint project with the village and the federal government by way of the State Department of Transportation.
The project had been delayed several times, which was a sore subject for village officials who wanted to see the work done much sooner.
"It's kind of messy right now," Flaherty admitted.
Village Manager Dave DeAngelis has been in contact with representatives from the state and contractors involved. He updated the Village Board at last week's meeting regarding the disagreement, but said the village has not been involved directly in the dispute.
DeAngelis is on vacation this week and couldn't be reached for comment.
Calls to Payne and Dolan as well as the state DOT were not immediately returned.
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