City of Racine – Work on Wisconsin Avenue to convert the one-way street into a two-street is set to ramp up in April. When complete, Wisconsin Avenue will have bidirectional traffic between State Street and 16th Street and include bicycle accommodations. The conversion is scheduled to be completed by the end of May.
“We are excited to implement this phase of the Downtown Public Realm and Parking Plan. Our overall goal is to activate more of the downtown while also making it more accessible and pedestrian friendly. Converting the one-way streets is a good first step,” said City of Racine Mayor Cory Mason.
Starting in April, the first phase will include construction crews adding equipment such as traffic signal heads to the three signalized intersections on the corridor located at 6th Street, 7th Street, and 14th Street. The impact on traffic at these locations while the work is being completed is minor with temporary lane closures and traffic moving in all of the current directions.
The second phase of construction will close the eastern half of the roadway for the entire length of the project (State Street to 16th Street). All roads crossing Wisconsin Avenue will remain open at all times. Southbound traffic will only be allowed on the west side of Wisconsin Ave., while the eastern half of the roadway is being converted to northbound traffic. This construction will include the addition of angle parking stalls between 5th and 6th Streets. Some parking meters will be replaced with signs directing you to a parking application to pay for on-street parking (Passport Parking – www.ppprk.com). The ramp from State Street down to Wisconsin Avenue will be closed during the second phase of construction as well. The City anticipates this step to start in early May and last for approximately 1-2 weeks.
The third phase of construction will close the west side of Wisconsin Avenue and switch the direction of traffic to northbound ONLY on the east side. This will be the permanent direction of travel for the east half of the roadway. Southbound Wisconsin Avenue traffic will be routed to Main Street until the completion and opening of the roadway to two-way traffic, with the exception of 14th Street to 16th Street section which will utilize a detour from 14th Street to Grand Avenue to 16th Street back to Wisconsin Ave.
Phase 3 will also involve a detour for one block around the construction for the Hotel Verdant. The detour will be: west on 6th Street to north on College Avenue to east on 5th Street, to Wisconsin Avenue. 2nd Street will always remain a one-way roadway westbound that will continue to transition into the southbound direction of traffic for Wisconsin Avenue. During this third step of construction, 2nd Street traffic will be required to turn left onto 3rd Street and proceed towards Main Street. The City anticipates phase 3 will start immediately after phase 2 is completed and traffic control and detours are in place. This step will also last for approximately 1-2 weeks.
Once the third phase of construction has been completed, Wisconsin Avenue will be opened to two-way traffic. The City anticipates this work to be completed by late May. However, the northbound traffic on Wisconsin Avenue will continue to be detoured as noted until Spring 2023 when the Hotel Verdant is completed.
Later this summer, the City will begin the second phase of the Downtown Public Realm & Parking Plan, converting Lake Avenue from a one-way northbound to a two-way roadway from 10th Street to Gaslight Drive.