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Town gets major grant for streets


The darkened route on the map shows the streets named in the state grant. - Star graphic on map provided by OpenStreetMap.

Coulee Dam will get some major road and sidewalk work done as a result of a state grant that will pay for most of it in 2018.

The state Department of Transportation announced last week it has awarded a $794,566 grant from the Transportation Improvement Board for work Mayor Greg Wilder called the "centerpiece of several significant projects" the town is planning for the future.

The project includes street surface work on Civic Way, Cedar Street, Tulip Street and Crest Drive.

The exact elements of the project will be determined after a session with the town council next Monday night, Wilder stated.

The project will include handicapped-related sidewalk work, signage and parking, and improve traffic flow around the school, Wilder stated. There could be some realignment on one of the streets, Wilder pointed out.

In his letter to the TIB board members, Wilder wrote: "A lot has changed within our Town recently, including the consolidation of three disparately located schools into one new K-12 complex. As it is, this new complex is virtually surrounded by an arterial-class road loop. The road surface conditions vary on each segment as do the adequacy and conditions of the pedestrian & handicapped sidewalks, ramps and such. There are an increased level of traffic, increased structural loading from delivery vehicles, school bus utilization and safety risks. And clearly there will be a significant increase for vehicle traffic, pedestrian utilization and the potential for conflicts."

The Small Cities Arterial Program grant will fund 95 percent of the work and the city will put up 5 percent.

"And it has been budgeted, about $45,000," Wilder said. "This is a significant amount of money and is one of the largest grants awarded to local projects here."

The grant will pay for $794,566 of the cost of the $836,385 project, and the town will be responsible for the balance.

The mayor thanked the school administration and the police department for sending in supporting letters. The project will be funded for 2018, and is one of several grants the TIB announced late last week.

The Small City Arterial Program awarded some $121 million to 19 small towns across the state, ranging from $511,000 to $1.5 million.

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