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  I need more technical assistance in order to prepare for construction season. What should I do?

The Department of Public Works has created many partnerships with local business support organizations.  Resources are listed in the Support for Business Guidebook and on the SFB website.

  Some of my employees are not comfortable with computers. Where can I get help?

Your liaison can provide hard copies of program materials upon request. Additionally, the Milwaukee Public Library offers computer classes in most of its branches. Call Ready Reference at 286-3011 to register or you can register online at www.mpl.org.

  Why are they putting “no parking” signs on both sides of the street?

Both sides of the street are required to provide safe and open access for construction equipment movement.

  Where are my customers supposed to park if the entrances to my parking lot are blocked?

The liaison, along with DPW staff, will redirect traffic with signage to the parking lot. In some cases staff will work to try to establish parking alternatives.

  How are construction projects chosen each year?

Infrastructure Services Division develops and maintains a database of all work needed in the city. Each year, proposed projects are selected based on condition and available funding.  Once funding is approved by the Common Council, Infrastructure Services will coordinate with the pertinent agencies to alert them of the project.

When a paving project is proposed, a public hearing is scheduled to get input from property owners. Prior to the hearing, many aldermen will conduct a survey or host meetings to determine if there is support for the project.  Once a project is approved, an assessment cost is assigned to each adjacent property owner.

If denied, the projects may be scheduled in 5-6 years. If approved, the projects are then grouped into a contract, based on the type of work and location of the projects.

  Why does it take so long to build a new bridge/road?

Once a project is approved, Infrastructure Services Division staff utilizes construction guidelines to determine the length of the project.  The completion date is always shared with the public. From time to time, there may be unforeseen problems during construction. These could be soil contamination, underground obstructions, increased scope of work or replacements not discovered until work begins.  Most often the completion date is met.

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The route of the road, created by series of straight lines and curves. 


The process of filling in an excavated area with material such as soil or gravel. 

  Base Patching

Replacing small portions of a concrete roadway, usually to repair large cracks. 


Pipes or tubes installed underground along the roadway, protecting the various utilities and infrastructure. 

  Crushing Operations

The process of using heavy machinery to crush the excavated road material into smaller pieces to reuse as the base layer for the new roadway. 

  Curb and Gutter

Concrete edging along the street used to collect water runoff.

  Flagging Operations

The job of controlling the traffic around the road construction site using flags and signage.


Adjusting and leveling the ground to attain the desired road profile and slopes for drainage. 

  Hand Pours

Method of pouring and placing concrete using manual labor and hand tools, as opposed to mechanical equipment. 

  HMA (Hot Mix Asphalt) Pavement

Combination of aggregate consisting of stone, sand or gravel bound together by asphalt cement. Sometimes referred to as Blacktop. 


The process of removing the top few inches of the existing pavement prior to repaving. 

  Asphaltic Overlay

Adding additional asphalt material to an existing surface to prolong the roadway's lifespan. 


The process of placing a new surface (often through milling and asphaltic overlay) to extend pavement lifespan. 

  Storm Sewers

The underground piping that transports stormwater runoff away from the roadway. 

  Sanitary Sewers

The underground piping that transports sewage away from buildings and houses. 


The process of cutting joints in asphalt or concrete pacements to create clean edges for removals. Also used on concrete pavement to create slabs. 


Placing markers or stakes to identify planned alignment or route of the roadway, location of proposed curb and gutter, propsed sidewalk, and right-of-way. 

  Temporary Lighting

Installation of temporary streetlights so that existing lights and poles can be removed. 

  Temporary Signals

Installation of temporary traffic signals so that existing signals and poles can be removed. 

  Topsoil Removal

The removal of the top layer of soil to expose the subsoil underneath makes for a sturdier foundation. 

  Tree Cell Planting System

The process of installing grids underneath the ground to aid in tree root expansion and filtering stormwater. 

  Watermain Pressure Testing

The process of subjecting the piping system to a controlled pressure and observing how it reacts to that pressure. 


Refers to signal installations that are made up of a single overhead structure that allows the traffic signals to be placed over the travel lanes. 

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