After years of waiting, residents of Losey Boulevard left Thursday evening’s Finance and Personnel Committee meeting with an air of victory — and a few sighs of relief.
The committee unanimously amended a resolution that would have spent $200,000 from the city’s budget reserve on an overlay on the northbound lane of Losey from State Road to Johnson Street. Instead, the committee supported city engineer Randy Turtenwald’s recommendation that an overlay be put in the 2018 capital improvement budget.
Council member Douglas Happel, who suggested the amendment, urged Mayor Tim Kabat to put the project at the top of the project list.
Members of the committee echoed Turtenwald’s recommendation that a much longer stretch of Losey Boulevard be considered for a larger project in 2019.
According to a report by Turtenwald, the originally proposed $200,000 for the fix would only cover 200 feet. He estimated it would cost $850,000 to overlay Losey Boulevard from Market Street to State Road.
To completely repair Losey Boulevard with a new concrete street would cost about $12.25 million, according to Turtenwald.
After an April 6 meeting stalled the original proposal for 30 days, the city changed the stoplights on the street to blink red after midnight in an attempt to decrease nighttime speeding.
Barb Clark, who lives on Losey Boulevard, said the change has been helpful but hasn’t addressed the primary problem.
“I pay $4,300 in taxes every single year to live on Losey Boulevard,” said Clark, who has lived in her home at 1223 S. Losey Blvd. for the past 28 years, “and I think that should be going to help improve my road.”
Clark said she worries about cracks in her homes foundation widening because of vibrations from semi-truck traffic.
The flow of semis remains heavy, despite decreases in overall traffic since 1996, when an average of 30,250 vehicles used Losey each day. Today, 22,200 vehicles use it each day.
Turtenwald said he did not believe reducing the speed limit to 25 miles an hour would affect traffic speeds without heavy police enforcement.
The amended proposal will go before the common council on Thursday.