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Oak Creek reallocates $50,000 to street maintenance

March 25, 2014

Oak Creek — For the first time in more than 20 years, the city agreed to reallocate $50,000 in its capital fund for the purpose of repairing street damage from the winter's cold and snow.

Heaved asphalt, potholes and washed-out shoulders pepper local roads from College Avenue to the county line and 27th Street to the lake, thanks to a long winter marked by intense cold and plenty of snow.

"Basically no area got spared this year," said Ralph Kneusel, acting supervisor of Oak Creek's street maintenance department. "Since I've been here this has not happened to this degree."

Kneusel joined the department in 1992.

In a normal year, the city allocates $65,000 to the street maintenance department's general fund for in-house street repair, patching and tarring.

The city's capital fund reserves $1 million for bigger operations like resurfacing and street rehabilitation. The Common Council approved reallocating up to $50,000 from the capital fund to compensate for this year's abnormal street damage.

"We expect to use almost all ($50,000)," Kneusel said.

The department will purchase tar, asphalt, concrete and stone to rebuild shoulders.

Construction will begin when the frost is out of the ground — hopefully by mid-April — and will continue until October or November.

When water gets into the cracks, it freezes and expands, which raises the road up more. Roads heave from frequent freezing and thawing. The maintenance department waits for the frost to leave the ground so the road lowers before work is done.

Take action

■ Drivers are asked to report street damage to the Streets, Parks and Forestry Department by calling (414) 768-6552.

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