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Edwards extension work progressing


Project will be complete in fall



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May 05, 2010 | 08:52 AM
Just off Sheridan Springs road near the Highway 12 overpass, work on the north end of what will be the Edwards Boulevard extension is difficult to miss.

The bulldozers, excavators, graders and dump trucks have been in full use the last several weeks preparing the area for construction. What once was overgrown vegetation and trees is now piles of dirt and the start of a road that will connect Sheridan Springs all the way to Highway 50.

"We're seeing a lot of activity up there," Lake Geneva City Administrator Dennis Jordan said Monday. "The road is graded and the pond is done."

Much of the preparation work from Sheridan Springs to the White River is complete. Last week's purchase of the Peller property, which is the land south of the White River, will allow work to continue soon on the other side of the river. City officials approved the purchase of the land for $200,000, which Jordan said was within $11,000 of the land's appraised value.

"We are waiting for the signed agreement from Peller and then we will receive the deed," Jordan said. "Hopefully that will happen this week and then construction of the bridge can start."

Jordan said the view from the construction site is "incredible." He said it will be a "neat" road.

He also said he's already received phone calls from developers interested in purchasing pieces of the city-owned 19 acres that formerly was the WE Energies property. Jordan said he expects the city to reap the rewards of the land purchase in the future. He said once the road is in place, that land along the road may be able to be sold for much more than the city spent on it. Profits from the sale of the land would go into the city's general fund.

"I am happy with what has been done so far," Jordan said about the work.

Despite the progress, Jordan said he's unsure whether the project is ahead of schedule or if it will be done sooner than expected in fall.

The work also can be seen from Highway 12. On Tuesday morning, workers were at the bottom of the hill near the river, making preparations for their next efforts.

Just a few weeks ago, work on the north side of the extension on the city-owned WE Energies property on Sheridan Springs Road started, just about two years after the extension and funding was approved for by city voters.

The road work is expected to take all summer and last into the early fall. Jordan said all work, including landscaping, is supposed to be completed Nov. 30. Basically, the road will be completed by Sept. 15. That is if everything follows the plan, Jordan said.

During the past few months, the city purchased the 19-acre WE Energies property for $452,000 and also approved a $2 million bid for construction of the road and the bridge over the White River.

On April 1, 2008, Lake Geneva voters approved the Edwards Boulevard extension project on a 1,110-658 vote. The project, which was approved by voters to not exceed $2.9 million, will extend Edwards Boulevard north from the Target and Best Buy area to Sheridan Spring Road and it includes a bridge over the White River. RYAN Companies, developers of Target, will chip in $600,000 if road work is started by 2010.

The hope has been to improve traffic flow and congestion in the city and help the businesses currently on the north end of Edwards Boulevard.

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