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Union Corners Plays Key Role In Neighboring Project | Environment

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Union Corners Plays Key Role In Neighboring Project
Union Corners Plays Key Role In Neighboring Project

It might be bad news for residents hoping recent activity at the empty Union Corners site was the beginning of a new development project, but the role the Union Corner's site is playing in a different area project is quite meaningful.

The space is currently being used as staging area for the Williamson Street road reconstruction project.

"This removed material is going to get to be a pretty big pile," said Jim Wolfe, city of Madison Engineering Department.

The Union Corners site, located along East Washington Avenue, has pretty much become an empty lot after a failed development project. But purpose has returned to the site this spring.

"The Willy Street project is a very complete street reconstruction," said Wolfe. "We are not only doing new curb and new pavement, we're also doing new storm sewer, sanitary sewer, water mains, street lights (and) traffic signals."

The first phase of the project, which started this week, required crews to rip apart the current road and sidewalks on one half of the street.

"The concrete and asphalt that's pulled out of the street, they're taking it over to the Union Corners site and kind of storing that," Wolfe said.

Once the Williamson Street project moves to the other side of the road, the pile will get even bigger, Wolfe said.

He said the project will reuse 25,000 tons of concrete and asphalt and cut back on trucking miles by 23,000 miles.

"A site like Union Corners is close enough to the project and there's existing concrete, kind of like a pavement out there that allows them to set up the (crushing) equipment pretty easily," Wolfe said.

About 80 to 90 percent of the gravel base for the new road will be made up of the existing concrete and asphalt. The concrete and asphalt will be stored on the Union Corners site until it can be crushed to the exact specifications the city requires for new roads.

"All that removed material would go into landfills and the crushed aggregate for the roads would have to come from quarries," Wolfe said.

Wolfe said it was important to the Willy Street Neighborhood and to the city to make sure that an environmentally friendly approach was taken in the construction process. The quality of the new road will also be improved thanks to their eco-friendly approach.

"It's pretty intrusive to get in there and do a street project like this," Wolfe said. "So we're getting some (added) base course in there and beefing it up a bit."

The city hopes to bring in crushing equipment sometime in June to crush all the material. They said the process should take about three days.

Wolfe said not all city street and sidewalk projects require this type of approach, but the Willy Street plans included the recycling mandate.

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