City announces Milwaukee Road project faces even more delays

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Austin Montgomery/Beloit Daily News Ultility workers from New Berlin, Wisconsin-based Pieperline Electric prepare utilites at the Milwaukee Road-Cranston Road intersection on Wednesday morning. Utility and traffic signal work could delay the project into December, according to City of Beloit officials.

BELOIT - New delays have been announced in the City of Beloit's Milwaukee Road reconstruction project, with manufacturing glitches blamed for pushing the project's end date back once again.

According to City of Beloit staff, manufacturing delays in both a traffic signal controller box and the mast arms that will hold the overhead lights will push the project into the new year.

Work on the project started in April and was delayed over the summer and early fall due to heavy rains. Beloit Transportation Engineer Jason Dupuis said pavement marking was completed Wednesday, with remaining signage completed at the end of the week, leaving street lighting and traffic signal work as the final steps of the project.

Temporary traffic signal movements have irked some drivers, some of whom believe the temporary signals that prevent dedicated left turn-only movements cause confusion at busy intersections at Branigan and Cranston roads.

The city expects installation of the traffic signal controller box by the third week in December, according to Strategic Communications Director Sarah Millard.

Currently, the city is unable to set the signals that are in place with dedicated left turn movements, which is why all signals are currently set up to where left turn movements must be made under a yield green light, Millard said.

The mast arm delays to hold the overhead stoplights above the roadway are scheduled to be delivered in the third week of January.

"We apologize for the inconvenience that the manufacturing delays have caused and we are working with the contractor to make sure that the work will be performed in getting these items installed as soon as they are delivered to the site," Millard said.

Construction started in April, addressing a host of issues from Branigan Road to Lee Lane. Portions of Milwaukee Road had been reduced to one lane in each direction, which has caused traffic issues over the last six months.

The sum of the work includes improvements addressing concrete pavement distress, upgrading storm water management, accommodating bicycle traffic, filling in sidewalk gaps and upgrading traffic signals.

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