HUMBOLDT BOULEVARD RECONSTRUCTION PROJECT 

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  • CONSTRUCTION UPDATES
  • WHAT TO EXPECT DURING CONSTRUCTION
  • PROJECT OVERVIEW & FINAL DESIGN
  • ALTERNATIVE DESIGN SUMMARY
  • COMMUNITY MEETINGS & DOCUMENTS
  • CONTACT US

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CONSTRUCTION UPDATES

We aim to provide construction updates every two weeks throughout the duration of the project. Updates will be posted here and sent to those who have signed up through the project website. All work is weather dependent and subject to change. 

Anticipated Start Date: March 28, 2022
Anticipated Completion: May 26, 2023*

*Majority of the work is anticipicated to be done in 2022. Landscaping and electrical work are planned for 2023.


AUGUST

  • -Concrete for the mainline pavement has been poured on the east side of North Humboldt Boulevard from East North Avenue to approximately East Center Street. East Wright Street is open to allow access to properties east of N. Humboldt Blvd. The following side streets remain closed on the east side of N. Humboldt Blvd.: E. Walworth St., E. Meinecke Ave., and E. Clarke St. Access to East Center Street, through the work zone, will remain open over the weekend.
    -Mainline pavement pour for Stage 1 of construction resumes on Monday, August 22nd starting at East Center Street with the anticipated goal to reach East Locust Street. East Center Street will be closed starting Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. ​This intersection will re-open once the concrete has been cured, approximately Tuesday evening. 
    -Anticipate sawing of the mainline concrete pavement to occur outside of the regular construction hours (7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.). This overnight work will be allowed since it has to be completed right after the concrete initially sets and before random cracking occurs. We apologize for any noise disturbance during the night time saw cutting operation.
    Posted 8/19/22

  • -The concrete pour for the mainline pavement on the east side of North Humboldt Boulevard from East North Avenue through East Center Street is scheduled for Thursday, August 18th. East Wright Street will remain open during the mainline operation to allow access to properties east of Humboldt. Anticipate short-term disruption when the operation skips over the intersection at E. Wright St. The following side streets are closed (on the east side) to allow the contractor to pave through the intersections: E. Walworth St., E. Meinecke Ave., E. Clarke St. and E. Center St. 
    -Mainline pavement operation continues for Stgae 1 on Friday, August 19th from East Center Street to East Burleigh Street, bypassing the intersection of East Locust Street. The intersections of East Chambers Street and East Burleigh Street (east side) will built in halves (north and south half) to maintain access. Anticipate short-term disruption at E. Chambers St. and E. Burleigh St. when the operation is in the immediate intersection.
    -Anticipate work to occur outside of the regular construction hours from 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. The sawing of mainline concrete pavement overnight will be allowed since it has to be completed right after the concretes initially sets and before random cracking occurs. We apologize for any noise disturbance during the night time saw cutting operation.
    Posted 8/17/22


JULY 

  • N. Humboldt Blvd. from North Ave. to Locust St. - Stage 1
    -The few remaining manholes to connect the CUC (communications underground conduit) package are being installed.
    -Grading from North Ave. to Locust St. is near completion.
    -Preparation work (setting up the stringline) for mainline pavement is anticipated to begin the week of August 8th.

    N. Humboldt Blvd. from Locust St. to Keefe Ave. - Stage 1
    -Storm sewer work is anticipated to be completed by the end of next week. 
    -Installation of CUC package is ongoing.
    -Grading has started in this segment.

    E. Locust St. and N. Humboldt Blvd. Intersection 
    -Anticipated closure of East Locust Street at North Humboldt Boulevard (east side of intersection) scheduled August 10th through September 2nd. For more details, please view the notice and detour map.

    Other Upcoming Events/Traffic Alerts
    -Riverwest 24 happening this weekend (July 29th-30th): Suggested route map for participants, please visit
    https://www.riverwest24.com.
    -City of Milwaukee Fireworks at Gordon Park Scheduled August 2nd: Due to ongoing construction along N. Humboldt Blvd., parking will be available at Riverside High School’s parking lot for the evening fireworks display.
    Posted 7/29/22

  • N. Humboldt Blvd. from North Ave. to Locust St. - Stage 1
    -Majority of the CUC (communications underground conduit) package and manhole installation from North Ave to Locust St. is complete.
    -Grading will begin next week starting at North Ave. and the operation will move north toward Locust St. 

    N. Humboldt Blvd. from Locust St. to Keefe Ave. - Stage 1
    -Storm sewer work has been completed except the segment between Townsend St. to Keefe Ave., which will be completed by the end of the month.
    -Remaining pavement that was previously bypassed due to sewer work will be removed over the next two weeks.
    -Excavation for CUC package has started at Locust St., and will move north toward Keefe Ave. 
    Posted 7/8/22


JUNE 

  • The east side of Burleigh and Humboldt intersection will temporarily close (within work zone, no thru-traffic) tomorrow evening for Milwaukee Water Works to excavate and repair a leaking water main valve. The short-term closure will take place after rush hour traffic to minimize traffic disruptions and access. The intersection will re-open once the repair work is done. The intersection of Auer and Humboldt will be open to thru traffic tomorrow as sewer work is wrapping up in that intersection today. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Posted 6/28/22

  • N. Humboldt Blvd. from North Ave. to Locust St. - Stage 1
    -Storm sewer work from Center St. to Locust St. was finished on June 6th.
    -Pavement removal in this segment started the week of June 6th and has been completed as of June 15th.
    -Excavation for CUC conduit and manholes from North Ave. to Wright St. is done. CUC excavation from Wright St. to Locust St. will continue through the end of June.
    -Grading is anticipated to begin the week of June 27th.


    N. Humboldt Blvd. from Locust St. to Keefe Ave. - Stage 1
    -Storm sewer work is currently taking place north of Locust Street.
    -To continue progress with the mobilized crew already onsite, the pavement removal operation started at Burleigh Street, and will reach Keefe Avenue today. Access to residential driveways on the east side are now restricted for the remainder of Stage 1. Commercial driveways will be maintained, however, there will be short-term disruptions/closures when work progresses through the area.
    -A crew will remove pavement between Locust to Burleigh once storm sewer work is finished.
    Posted 6/17/22 


MAY 

  • N. Humboldt Blvd. from North Ave. to Locust St. - Stage 1
    -Access to residential driveways on the east side will be restricted starting the week of June 6th for the remainder of Stage 1. Commercial driveways will be maintained, however, there will be short-term disruptions/closures when work progresses through the area.  
    -A notice of instructions for garbage and recycling collection will be delivered to a handful of affected properties during the week of May 30th.

    Storm sewer work from North Ave. to Center St. has been completed. Crews are aiming to finish storm sewer work from Center St. to Locust St. over the next week. The contractor anticipates removing roadway pavement starting the week of June 6th. Residential driveways will be restricted once pavement removal operation starts. Pavement removal will begin at North Avenue, and progress north toward Locust Street. The pavement will be crushed off-site and the crushed gravel will be reused as a subgrade base. CUC manhole and conduit work will follow. 

    N. Humboldt Blvd. from Locust St. to Keefe Ave. - Stage 1
    -Access to all driveways on the east side will be maintained, through the work zone, for the next few weeks. Short-term disruptions to driveway access may occur when crews are working in the immediate area. 
    -No changes to regularly scheduled garbage and recycling collection. 

    Various utility work in this segment on Humboldt Blvd. has been ongoing. Storm sewer work between Locust St. to Keefe Ave. is anticipated to begin in early June with pavement removal to start in mid-June.
    Posted 5/27/22

  • On Monday, May 16th, there will be a short-term road closure on the west side of N. Humboldt Blvd. between E. Concordia Ave. to E. Townsend St. (3300 block) for an emergency tree removal by City of Milwaukee Forestry Division. We anticipate the full road closure to take place between 9:30 am to noon. Larger vehicles/trucks are advised to travel on N. Holton St. between E. Burleigh St. to E. Keefe Ave. Milwaukee County Transit Service Bus Route 14 will be temporarily affected, please visit www.ridemcts.com for details. We advise the traveling public to allow for extra time while traveling to and from the neighborhood. Thank you for patience and understanding to allow our city crews to safely remove this damaged tree. Posted 5/13/22

  • N. Humboldt Blvd. from North Ave. to Locust St. - Stage 1
    -One lane of traffic in each direction maintained on west side of N. Humboldt Blvd. 
    -East side of the street is closed
    -Access to all driveways on the east side are maintained, through the work zone, for the next two to three weeks. Short-term disruptions to driveway access may occur when crews are working in the immediate area. 
    -No impacts to regularly scheduled garbage and recycling collection. When the roadway is completely removed, a notice of instructions will be delivered to affected properties.
    -Last week, the contractor milled the asphalt surface in this segment and started storm sewer work on the east side of the street. Crews are installing catch basins and other storm drainage facilities at North Ave. and are working north toward Locust St. The contractor will begin to break and remove the concrete roadway, starting at North Ave., when sewer work is near Locust Street (about 3 weeks away).

Intersection of Locust and Humboldt
-Project team has monitored turning movements at this intersection, and will make adjustments to signal timing and traffic control to improve traffic flow. 

N. Humboldt Blvd. from Locust St. to Keefe Ave. - Stage 1 (NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN)
-Anticipate Stage 1 traffic control to be in place in the afternoon of Tuesday, May 3rd or Wednesday, May 4th - one lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained on the west side of N. Humboldt Blvd. 
-Access to all driveways on the east side will be maintained, through the work zone, for the next several weeks. Short-term disruptions to driveway access may occur when crews are working in the immediate area. 
-No changes to regularly scheduled garbage and recycling collection. 
-Temporary street lighting installation and utility work in this segment is near completion. The contractor will begin to remove (mill) the asphalt surface on the east side of the street (northbound lanes) and then break the pavement. The road is still drivable in this condition. Sewer work will follow before the broken pavement is removed.  

Posted 5/2/22



APRIL 

  • With the street car track removal operation completed on N. Humboldt Blvd., we are moving partially into stage 1 of construction starting Thursday, April 21st: 

N. Humboldt Blvd. from North Ave. to Locust St. - Stage 1 (New Traffic Pattern)
-One lane of traffic in each direction maintained on west side
-East side of the street will be closed. Access to all driveways on the east side will be maintained, through the work zone, for the next few weeks. Short-term disruptions to driveway access may occur when crews are working in the immediate area. 
-Storm sewer work on the east side of the street will begin the week of April 25th. Crews will install catch basins and other storm drainage facilities starting at North Ave. and will work north toward Locust St. The contractor will also mill (remove) the asphalt surface in this segment.

N. Humboldt Blvd. from Locust St. to Keefe Ave. - Pre-Stage 
-Northbound and southbound traffic will use outside (parking) lanes
-Temporary street lighting installation and utility work are taking place in this segment.
Posted 4/19/22


  • Traffic control on N. Humboldt Blvd. between North Ave. to Meinecke Ave. for pre-stage of construction was set up during the week of March 28th. Traffic control on the segment between Center St. to Locust St. will be set up during the week of April 11th. During this pre-stage, northbound and southbound traffic on N. Humboldt Blvd. from North Ave. to Locust St. will use the outside lanes (parking lanes), while the inside lanes (near median) are closed. Traffic will remain in its existing configuration between Locust St. and Keefe Ave. The contractor is removing the old street car tracks down the center of N. Humboldt Blvd., starting at North Ave. and heading north toward Locust St. Crews are also installing temporary street lighting and removing selected trees throughout the corridor. These activities will take place over the next few weeks. Construction notice with more details on tree removals can be found here. Posted 4/7/22

MARCH 

  • Construction notice - Delivered door to door to properties on North Humboldt Boulevard during the week of March 21st, and emailed to all those who signed up for updates on 3/23/22.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING CONSTRUCTION

Start: March 28, 2022
Anticipated Completion: May 26, 2023
The majority of the project is scheduled to be complete in December 2022. Landscape and electrical work are planned to be done in 2023.

CONSTRUCTION STAGING DETAILS

The project will be split into four construction stages to minimize impacts for residents, businesses, and the traveling public. 

Pre-Stage: Northbound and southbound traffic on N. Humboldt Blvd from North Ave. to Locust St. will use the outside lanes (parking lanes), while the inside lanes (near median) are closed for removal of old street car tracks. Traffic will remain in its existing configuration between Locust St. and Keefe Ave. during this pre-stage.

Stage 1: The east side of N. Humboldt Blvd from North Ave. to Keefe Ave. will be closed for construction. One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained on the west side of the street. Various side streets on the east side will be restricted to thru traffic.

Stage 2: The west side of N. Humboldt Blvd from North Ave. to Keefe Ave. will be closed for construction. One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained on the newly constructed east side of the street. Various side streets on the west side will be restricted to thru traffic.

Stage 3: N. Humboldt Blvd will be open to traffic in its final configuration. Landscape restoration, including tree plantings, and electrical work are planned during this stage.

PEDESTRIAN ACCESS
To maintain pedestrian access along the corridor, the sidewalk will be kept in place for as long as possible. Short-term disruptions will occur when the sidewalk is being removed and rebuilt on each side.

  • Temporary pedestrian accommodations can be provided and the contractor will work with property owners to minimize impact.
  • Temporary crosswalks thru the work zone will be maintained at various intersections. Over the course of the project, changes may occur to the pedestrian crossing locations.

DRIVEWAY ACCESS
Project staff will notify property owners 48 hours in advance when any driveway is being removed and rebuilt. 

  • Residential driveways: Access will be restricted in the work zone. Temporary overnight parking permit instructions will be provided to those affected. 
  • Commercial driveways: There will be disruptions to driveway access such as when the contractor is breaking and removing pavement, grading, putting in the curb and gutter, and paving. 

PARKING INFORMATION
On-street parking will not be allowed on North Humboldt Boulevard throughout the duration of the project. 

BUS ROUTE
This project will affect MCTS bus service. Route 14, 22, 66, 66 Weekend and Summer Service, and 40U will have detours. Details and updates can be found on
www.ridemcts.com

CONSTRUCTION HOURS
Work is allowed Monday - Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The sawing of mainline concrete pavement outside of 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. will be allowed due to the fact it has to be completed right after "initial set" and before random cracking occurs. The placement of the mainline concrete pavement is a critical milestone in keeping these large paving projects on schedule.

PROJECT OVERVIEW

The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works and Wisconsin Department of Transportation will reconstruct North Humboldt Boulevard from East North Avenue to East Keefe Avenue (1.5 miles) in 2022. This segment of Humboldt Boulevard was constructed in 1965 with 8 inches of reinforced concrete on a 3 inch gravel base. The street was resurfaced with asphalt in 1992 and again in 2014 as a temporary measure to improve the pavement condition since the street was showing signs of deterioration in various locations due to the degraded substructure of the pavement. The underlying concrete base has deteriorated joints, severe reflective cracking and failed patched along the entire length of the project. It is no longer cost-effective to continue to maintain this street through rehabilitation (asphalt overlays).

GOALS

  • Reduce motor vehicle speeds
  • Make the street safer for all users, with a focus on pedestrian and bicyclist safety
  • Maintain or enhance existing green space and landscaping
  • Improve operational characteristics and safety of the street by addressing the underlying pavement condition

FUNDING

Estimated cost is $8.6 million dollars

  • 80% federally funded and 20% locally funded
  • Assessments will go out to property owners near the end of the design stage. Assessments to owners will include sidewalk and driveway approach replacement in front of their property. It will be calculated based on the City's share of the final cost. 

FACTS

  • N. Humboldt Blvd is classified as a minor arterial
  • Average Daily Traffic Count: 14,900 motorists per day
  • Posted Speed: 30 MPH
  • N. Humboldt Blvd. currently serves bus route 14, accommodates short lengths of routes 60, 22, and 21, and has a crossing of route 40U. 

FINAL DESIGN PLANS

Once completed, North Humboldt Boulevard will have a 10-ft driving lane, 8-ft parking lane, 5-ft wide on-street bike lane, and 6-ft wide sidewalk in each direction. The median width varies throughout the corridor, between 9.5 to 13.5 feet wide. Majority of the trees along the corridor will be preserved. The proposed final typical section of this design is below:

The final design plan can be viewed here

PROJECT FEATURES


Improved/New Left Turn Lanes

Left turn lanes will be improved or added at the following locations:

  • E. North Avenue (improved-North leg of intersection)
  • E. Center Street (new-South leg of intersection)
  • E. Locust Street (improved-North and South legs of intersection)
  • E. Burleigh Street (new-North and South legs of intersection)
  • E. Keefe Ave (Improved-South leg of intersection)

Additional Medians
Additional medians will be installed between:

  • E. North Ave. to E. Meinecke Ave.
  • E. Center St. to E. Locust St.

Signature Beds
Signature beds are landscaping features that include trees, shrubs, flowers, and possible boulders or other landscaping elements. Signature beds are planned in the following locations: 

  • North of E. Meinecke Ave.
  • South of E. Hadley St.
  • South of E. Chambers St.
  • South of E. Keefe Ave.

Planting 81 new trees

  • 19 on the east side of the street
  • 19 on the west side of the street
  • 43 in the median boulevard 

Curb Extensions
Curb extensions (bump-outs) are being added at 8 intersections: 

  • E. Walworth St.
  • E. Meinecke Ave.
  • E. Clarke St. 
  • E. Hadley St.
  • E. Chambers St. (east side T-intersection)
  • E. Auer Ave. 
  • E. Concordia Ave. (east side T-intersection)
  • E. Townsend St. 

Benefits of curb extensions
-Increased pedestrian visibility by preventing people from parking too close to crosswalks 
-Reduced crossing distances and decreased pedestrian exposure to motorists
-Slower speeds by motorists making turns at intersections and driving along the corridor 
-Prevents illegal passing on the right in the bike or parking lane.

Traffic Signal Upgrades
All of the signalized intersections will be upgraded to the Federal requirement of a signal face over each lane, and allow for flashing yellow arrows for painted left turn lanes or medians less than six feet. 

Drainage Improvements
The existing storm sewer lateral pipes are undersized, and will be replaced with new pipes that meet current design standards. The inlets will also be replaced. 

Lighting Upgrades
New LED street lighting will be installed throughout the project. LED lighting provides  increased visibility for  all users of facility, including pedestrians.

Sidewalk Replacement
Sidewalk will be replaced based on condition, grade change, and to meet ADA requirements. The existing six foot width will be maintained throughout the corridor, contributing to a safe walking environment for pedestrians.

Curb Ramps
The existing curb ramps are not in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act standards. All 54 non-compliant curb ramps will be replaced with 106 ADA compliant curb ramps.

 

DESIGN ALTERNATIVES SUMMARY

PREFFERED DESIGN - ALTERNATIVE 1 (Selected to move forward into final design)

Project engineers developed design plans that include separated bike lanes, presented in alternative 2, along North Humboldt Boulevard. As this alternative progressed through further, more detailed engineering, several design challenges arose. With a narrow curb to curb lane configuration, it is not possible to achieve separated bike lanes without losing most of the cherished and mature trees that provide a canopy over our Riverwest homes, parks and local businesses. In addition, the design of alternative 2 may potentially affect essential public services, including snow removal, emergency services and Milwaukee County Transit System. Due to these conflicts, the preferred design is Alternative 1 - standard bike lane, which will move forward into the final design phase. 

The proposed alternative 1 design includes a 10-ft driving lane and 8-ft parking lane in each direction, with 5-ft wide bike lanes on the street. The median width varies throughout the corridor, between 9.5 to 13.5 feet wide. The sidewalk is designed to be 6 feet wide. Majority of the trees along the corridor will be preserved. The proposal presented curb bump-outs at various intersections, improved left turn lanes and additional medians. The proposed typical section of this design is below:

In follow up to the North Humboldt Boulevard public information meeting on June 15, 2021, DPW Forestry and Infrastructure staff met with the design consultant in the field to verify the updated plans detailing the number and locations of trees affected by the preferred alternative design (on-street bike lanes). You can view the full tree plan here. With the preferred alternative design, the breakdown is 81 new trees planted, total loss of 34 trees, with a net gain of 47 trees. Here is a summary:

In addition, you can view a scaled-down version of the construction plans highlighting existing curbs vs. proposed curbs (including bump-outs) here to help illustrate the changes to the curb alignments throughout the boulevard. 

As part of its data collection process, during the preliminary design phase of the project, the Department of Public Works conducted a parking study to determine the extent of on-street parking being utilized and if on-street parking should continue to be an amenity offered as part of the preferred alternative. 

  • Parking was analyzed from 6 am to 10 pm for 7 consecutive days.
  • Parking was utilized along the street from a high of 68% on the east side of the street between Clarke and Center to a low of 11% on the east side of the street between Hadley and Locust.
  • Both sides of the street utilize street parking about 45% of the time, but 5 of the 12 segments are over 100% parked when adding both sides of the street together.
  • The raised median in the middle of the roadway results in lower than normal numbers of people parking on an opposite side of the street from their destination.


PROPOSED DESIGN - ALTERNATIVE 2 (Not selected as final design)

With the feedback and input we received from residents and the community, we have developed an alternative design that offers 6-ft protected bike lanes raised at sidewalk level throughout the corridor. The bike lanes are positioned between the parking lane and the sidewalk to provide separation between people biking and moving motor vehicle traffic. Protected bike lanes attract people of all ages and abilities, and will make bicycling on the street safer and more enjoyable. In addition to the 6-ft protected bike lanes, this alternative design offers a 10-ft driving lane and 8-ft parking lane in each direction, narrows the median to 6 feet, and provides 6-ft wide sidewalks while preserving the majority of the existing street trees. Curb bump-outs at various intersections, improved left turn lanes and additional medians are also included. The proposed typical section of this alternative design is below:


 

 

 

 

 

COMMUNITY MEETINGS

The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works holds public involvement meetings to receive input and share project details with residents and businesses located in the project area. 

Virtual Public Information Meeting #4 - June 15, 2021 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m
DPW staff provided a project status update and discussed the alignment challenges related to tree conflicts and essential public services that have affected the process and selection of the proposed final design plans. 

Virtual Public Involvement Meeting #3 - September 23, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The virtual meeting was held on Go To Webinar. Residents were able to register to receive the meeting link or call in with an access code. 

Public Involvement Meeting #2 - February 26, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The second public involvement meeting was held at Gordon Park Pavilion. 80 people attended the open house to share their thoughts and ideas on the proposed design. Attendees were able to submit comment cards and meet with DPW representatives to ask questions or provide input. 

Public Involvement Meeting #1 - February 27, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The first public involvement meeting was held at Gordon Park Pavilion. Over 40 people attended the open house to learn more about the preliminary design concept. Attendees were able to submit comment cards and meet with DPW representatives to ask questions or provide input. 

ONLINE COMMENTS 

Thank you for your input and suggestions during the design phase of this project. The public comment period was closed as of 6/30/21. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Samuel Medhin, Project Manager, at samuel.medhin@milwaukee.gov or 414-286-0474

 









 

PROJECT CONTACTS

Tony Kotecki, Construction Supervisor
akotec@milwaukee.gov
414-708-3886

Paul Grabowski, Project Leader
paul.grabowski@milwaukee.gov
414-708-3835

Margarito Rodriguez, Field Inspector
mrodrig@milwaukee.gov
414-708-1086

Tony Berendt, Inspector
anthony.berendt@milwaukee.gov
414-708-3951


Megan O'Connor, Liaison
moconnor@milwaukee.gov
414-708-1433

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