Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas outlines capital improvements plan

Highway projects, bike path, North Avenue will affect Brookfield

Sept. 2, 2014

In advance of unveiling his full 2015 budget later this month, Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas revealed a full list of capital projects that will be included in the 2015–2019 five-year capital plan. The plan includes a number of projects in Brookfield and Elm Grove.

The plan, aimed at reducing long-term operating costs, includes major facility, road and parks projects.

Facility projects in the city of Waukesha include updating the Waukesha County Airport terminal building and air traffic control tower with new heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. Upgrades at UW-Waukesha are also planned. This includes roofing improvements and the replacement of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment with new, more energy-efficient equipment.

Vrakas also said the county plans on expanding its Communications Dispatch Center — an effort to accommodate additional, anticipated dispatch agencies and allow for additional space for the county's Emergency Operations Center. The expansion, he said, will provide the needed space for handling large-scale emergency events.

The plan also includes the development of a multi-use trail as part of the county's Comprehensive Development and Bicycle Plans that will connect Frame Park in the city of Waukesha to Mitchell Park in the city of Brookfield.

Vrakas' plan also includes major highway projects in Brookfield and Elm Grove. County Highway O, from Moorland Road at I-94 to Highway 18 at Bluemound Road, adjacent to Brookfield Square Mall, is scheduled for a major rehabilitation and reconstruction.

The project wouldn't begin until 2019 and will include replacing existing concrete, reconfiguring intersections to improve safety, replacing traffic signals and adding sidewalks and storm water management improvements. The estimated cost is $6.8 million, with the county funding $2.2 million.

Reconstruction and widening of Highway M at North Avenue is also planned in the city of Brookfield and the village of Elm Grove between Highway YY at Pilgrim Road and the East County Line at 124th Street. Project design will begin next year, with the design and land acquisition in 2016-17. Construction on the $17 million project wouldn't start until 2018.

The county's allocation of federal aid is expected to cover about $10.3 million of the cost and the city and village will add an additional $200,000 for local street amenities. The remaining $6.5 million will be paid directly with county funds.

"It is the philosophy of Waukesha County to maintain the county's existing infrastructure while also planning for growth and anticipating the future needs of our residents," Vrakas said. "I am very proud of this plan."

The capital plan portion of the budget was introduced to the county's board supervisors on Thursday, Aug. 28. The county board will review the full budget in a few weeks before voting on it in November.

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