Jefferson’s downtown updating, beautification continues

Posted by on Jun 3, 2021 in News | 0 comments

Jefferson’s downtown updating, beautification continues

JEFFERSON, WISC. — The ongoing beautification of downtown Jefferson will continue after the Jefferson Common Council on June 2 authorized a streetscape design professional services contract with longstanding city partner Vandewalle and Associates.

Vandewalle will be hired at a cost of $17,000 to help the city correct some concerns about poorly placed paving bricks and trees installed many years ago that since then have heaved and caused pedestrian safety concerns in the heart of the downtown business district.

“We are addressing the changing needs of downtown, and this is something that is obvious to us,” Jefferson Mayor Dale Oppermann said after the unanimous vote to hire Vandewalle was taken. “It seems like yesterday, but we did the downtown streetscape project in the 1990s when the Highway 26 (bypass) was being addressed and we did the bricks and trees. Some parts of that project did not work out. The bricks and trees have been heaving, and we thought this was an appropriate time to take care of that.”

Oppermann said the city started looking at its overall downtown when it began to consider what to do with Riverside Alley and the project there. The city now is renovating that area of downtown on the immediate east side of the Rock River — the oldest part of the city since European settlers began building.

“This part of the downtown renovations goes with that (Riverside Alley project),” Oppermann said. “We want to make downtown more pedestrian-friendly.”

In keeping with the June 2nd resolution, Vandewalle will plan the project and also will help the city obtain grant funding for the more expensive work to execute the project.

“Vandewalle has been with us for a long time, and they help us a lot with grants that relate to street safety,” Oppermann said. “They do the visioning. Then work, that the public will be able to see, will start in 2022.”

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