Project ID: 1401-02-01
City of Columbus
Columbia County, Wisconsin

This page has been developed as a means to provide the public general information regarding the James Street Reconstruction project that is currently being designed. Information such as, project status, schedules, photos, exhibits and maps will be shown here on a regular basis throughout the duration of the project. Click here to view the project corridor.

Information provided is current at the date posted, but is subject to change based on project development. Additionally, any information posted is intended to provide general information to the current project status and is also subject to change.

If you have any general questions about the project, scroll to the bottom of the page to explore Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Finally, thanks to everyone for your assistance and cooperation during the duration of the project.

MARCH 18, 2016

The public informational meeting was conducted on February 25, 2016 and focused on detour routes, traffic control, signage, pedestrian access to businesses, typical street cross sections, and general project overview.

The final design for James Street along with all the sanitary sewer and water main design is nearly complete. The project has a few remaining easements to secure to be ready for the 2017 construction start.  The project design teams has met with the private utilities such as cable TV, telephone and gas companies to discuss the design and coordinate utility work. The private utility work will require relocation of portions of the utilities and will begin in 2016. This initial work is not part of the reconstruction project, rather preparation work by the private utility companies.

The DOT Project Manager has been working on finalizing sign type and location in the corridor along with pavement marking for items such as parking lanes and turn lanes. City staff has been working directly with the project team to coordinate construction staging to have the least impact on residents and businesses.

The DOT Project Manager also will continue with project coordination meetings for businesses in the corridor. The project is planned to bid to select a contractor in November 2016. Start of construction will be in early 2017, weather pending.

Underground boring work will begin on Monday March 21, 2016 as part of the effort to locate overhead electric to underground.

  • J&R Underground is completing the underground boring work for Columbus Water & Light.
  • The project will begin on the very east end of James Street near the intersection of James/Manning/River Road
  • The work from River Road to Water Street is expected to take approximately 2 weeks.
  • J&R will then switch over to the west side of the project, beginning with an underground bore in front of City Hall in the intersection of James and Dickason Blvd.
  • Additional bores will take place along W. James from Main to Lewis on both sides of James Street. These bores will run parallel with James Street under the sidewalk.
  • Additional boring will take place from Maple Avenue to Hurelle Street.
  • The work from Dickason to Hurelle is expected to take approximately 4 – 6 weeks.

If there are any questions, concerns or issues with the Contractor doing boring or the work that is being completed by Columbus Water & Light, please have residents call Eric Anthon at Columbus Water & Light to discuss.

JANUARY 26, 2016

Columbus business owners who are interested in developing a plan to ease disruptions during the James Street construction in 2017 are encouraged to attend an upcoming meeting scheduled for Monday, February 22, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at the Columbus Community Center, 161 North Dickason Boulevard.

In addition to the business meeting, a final public involvement meeting will be scheduled for Thursday, February 25, 2016 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Columbus Middle School. The focus of this meeting will be on construction staging and business/pedestrian access during construction and anticipated construction scheduling for the project.

On January 14, 2016, City representatives met with the WisDOT and utility providers regarding the James Street project. The meeting was to discuss potential relocation of private and public utilities, such as natural gas, telephone, cable TV services and electrical distribution and electrical services. The meeting focused on identifying needed upgrades and relocations for each utility. Next month, these utilities are required to submit a work plan for the identified changes. Work by these utilities will begin in 2016 along the corridor to install and relocate the identified utilities and conflicts ahead of the 2017 James Street construction.

Design of the James Street project, including utilities, is rapidly getting close to the end with Final Plans, Specifications, and Estimate (PS&E) scheduled for submission to DOT on February 1, 2016 and final PS&E due on May 1, 2016. The project is still on schedule to be LET (or bid) in November of 2016 with construction starting early 2017.

Real estate acquisition is over 50% complete to date and continues to progress to secure land and easement in advance of the construction beginning next year.

The City has decided that assessments will not be part of the project.

DECEMBER 21, 2015

Design of the James Street, including utilities, is rapidly getting close to the end with Final Plans, Specifications, and Estimate (PS&E) scheduled for submission to DOT on February 1, 2016 and final PS&E due on May 1, 2016. The project is still on schedule to be LET (or bid) in November of 2016 with construction starting early 2017.

Real estate acquisition is approximately 50% complete to date and final coordination meetings with utilities and businesses are expected to take place over the next month. Necessary relocation of private utilities to accommodate the project will commence in the spring of 2016 with some being completed before construction begins in early 2017. Some utility relocation will occur during construction.

The City has decided that assessments will not be part of the project.

A final public involvement meeting will be scheduled for late February 2016 with a focus on anticipated impacts during construction, proposed staging, and expected schedule. Temporary lighting of the downtown area will be provided at all times during construction.

OCTOBER 12, 2015

The James Street project continues with the real estate acquisition for Temporary Limited Easements (TLE), Permanent Limited Easements (PLE) and acquisition of lands. Recently, offer letters were sent to all of the property owners affected.  During the month of October offers are expected to become accepted.  This process will continue over the next month or so until all required rights are secured for construction of the project.

Plans have been set to Utility companies in the corridor to begin relocation effort planning.  Utility work will begin in 2016 related to relocations. 

On October 27, 2015 a business coordination meeting will be held at the Columbus Community Building, beginning at 9:00 a.m. for the reconstruction route.  Temporary pedestrian accommodations, project signage and alternate parking areas for businesses will be discussed.   A list of holidays and events along the route and impacts to the project and schedules will be discussed at this meeting as well.

A final public information meeting will be planned for January of 2016 and this meeting will be the final public meeting for the project to provide feedback.  The focus of this meeting will be impacts anticipated during construction, the proposed staging, and expected schedule.

Currently, plan development is between 60% plans and final plans.  Final draft plans will be issued in early 2016 for review.   Any final comments will be incorporated and finalized by May of 2016.  The project is still on schedule to be LET (or bid) in November of 2016 with construction starting early 2017.

JULY 20, 2015

The James Street project continues with the real estate acquisition for Temporary Limited Easements (TLE), Permanent Limited Easements (PLE) and acquisition of lands. This process will continue over many more months until all required rights are secured for construction of the project. Staking of the location of the easements and acquisitions has occurred and contacts with owners have begun and will continue into 2016 as scheduled.

More detailed utility coordination will begin shortly and run through the end of the year. This coordination will consist of sending current design plans for street construction, storm sewer, water main and sanitary sewer construction to all private utilities located within the project limits. This includes, but is not limited to, gas, electric, telephone, cable, fiber optics and others. Once notified, utility companies will have the remainder of 2015 to plan the relocation of their utilities to eliminate conflicts or issues during the reconstruction of James Street. Utility work will begin in 2016 related to relocations.

Currently plan development is between 60% plans and final plans. Final draft plans will be issued in early 2016 for review by all parties.  Any final comments will be incorporated and finalized by May 2016. The project is still on schedule to be LET (or bid) in November 2016 with construction starting early 2017.

JUNE 17, 2015

The final approvals for the Transportation Plat (TPP) have been completed and the document is recorded. This document is the basis for the real estate and easement acquisition that will soon be taking place to allow the construction of the project.

Currently project consultants have had survey crews staking out information related to the plat which will be the basis for future negotiations.

The street lighting has been approved by the common council to add decorative lighting along James Street from River Road to Charles Street. Decorative lighting in the downtown area will have flag holders and outlets for holiday decorations. There will be standard WisDOT poles from Charles Street to Dix Street (painted black). All street lights will be LED fixtures.

Concrete cross walks will be a dark grey color and located throughout the corridor from APC Way to River Road. No colored concrete will be placed in the terrace areas behind the curbs and no texturing will be done to the concrete cross walks.

City Staff will attend a progress meeting on June 18th with WisDOT to get an update on the design of the street and storm sewer.

Utility designs for sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water main continue to progress. Inlet locations have been located, preliminarily, to improve known drainage issues of the past. As a reminder, all water service to homes and businesses will be replaced from the water main to the shut off valves located in the street terrace. All sanitary sewer laterals will be replaced from the sewer main to the right-of-way behind the sidewalk.

MAY 12, 2015

The preliminary street lighting design is complete for the corridor. City Staff have met to review the lighting in the overall corridor plan. The most recent street lighting proposal consists of decorative lighting in the historic downtown to replace existing decorative lighting on James Street. The remaining lighting outside of this area will consist of standard WisDOT lighting.

The advisory group formed last year to look at Community Sensitive Solutions (CSS) funds for enhancements to the project. They have met to discuss other opportunities for expanded lighting in the corridor, painting all street poles black, which will include any decorative lighting, standard lighting and any traffic signal poles.

Other CSS enhancements to be considered are colored concrete crosswalks for James Street, along with a median island on North Dickason Boulevard in front of City Hall. This median island will include landscaping and an electrical outlet.

The discussion and recommendations of the advisory group, as it relates to CSS items such as street lighting and other enhancements to the corridor, will be presented to the committee of the whole meeting at City Hall on May 19th, 2015.

On April 30th, 2015, a meeting was conducted at the Columbus Community Building to discuss the WisDOT program called "In This Together". The intent of this program, sponsored by the WisDOT, is to show how the WisDOT and businesses can work together to succeed during a construction project. This is the first of several meetings designed to address concerns or support efforts which include:

  • Planning Ahead
  • Staying Informed
  • Handling Traffic/Access to Businesses
  • Reducing Traffic Backups
  • Keeping Customers Informed
  • Assistance for Motor Vehicle Dealers
  • Tips During Construction

More information regarding the "In This Together" program can be found here.

APRIL 23, 2015


2017 James Street (HWY 16/60) Reconstruction Business Coordination Meeting

Please join officials from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and the City of Columbus for a meeting to discuss the planning and coordination needs of area businesses for the 2017 reconstruction of James Street, Columbus.

WHEN: Thursday, April 30, 2015, 9AM
WHERE: Columbus Community Building - 161 N. Dickason Boulevard

*NOTE: This meeting is the first of several planned between the WisDOT and City businesses along the James Street corridor.

MARCH 26, 2015

A staff meeting with WisDOT was conducted on March 24th to review progress. Items that were discussed and reviewed included:

  • The Environmental Report has been approved and signed by WisDOT
  • The Design Study Report is completed and will be signed by the WisDOT
  • The Transportation Management Plan has been approved by WisDOT
  • Traffic signal design for James Street and Ludington, and James Street and Dix Street will begin in April 2015
  • The traffic bump outs requested by the City Common Council have been added to the plans at Main Street and James Street, and Birdsey Street and James Street

With spring, additional survey will occur in the corridor, which is needed to continue design of the sanitary sewer and water utilities.

A meeting with American Packaging Company was completed to discuss impacts for changes to sanitary sewer services. Some additional meetings are being scheduled and completed with other businesses impacted by changes to utility locations or services.

On March 13th, a meeting was held with the Community Sensitive Design group which selects enhancements to the project corridor. Funds in the amount of $166,800 have been provided by the WisDOT as part of the City agreement to be used by the City to enhance features in the corridor. Items identified previously, and remain on the list, are colored sidewalk crossings at select locations in the corridor and decorative lighting in the area downtown between North Water Street and Dickason Boulevard. In addition, black poles for street lights from Dix Street to River Road are proposed. All street lights currently are, and will be, LED with the new proposal.

In the near future, City staff will be starting to contact businesses to discuss the WisDOT "In this Together" program for businesses to help plan and prepare for the construction phase of the project.

The project is moving along as scheduled and is still on track to begin construction in early 2017.

FEBRUARY 26, 2015

A Columbus Council meeting was held on February 17th and the council discussed the modification of the proposed James Street cross sections at the intersection of Main and James Street, and Birdsey and James Street.  Since the beginning of the year, the Council has been investigating issues in this area of the project. In response to information reported by the public, City staff and the WisDOT have met to review this area and look at alternatives to help slow traffic while reducing the perception of a large area of pavement.

After meeting with WisDOT staff to review possibilities, and being mindful not to impact the proposed historical properties in the corridor, the Council gave direction to the WisDOT to look at the implementation of “bump out” areas on the curb for both Main and Birdsey Street intersections. The bumps outs will not change the traffic or bike lanes in the corridor. However, they will reduce the width of the street at the intersections to shorten the distance for pedestrians to cross the street.  The bump outs will be 6 feet from each side of James Street.

The WisDOT will proceed with the development of curb bump outs and will update the current set of draft plans. The updated plans will be presented to the public in a public informational meeting at a future date that has not yet been determined. The meeting will allow the public to review the proposed changes, ask questions and offer any comments. The public meeting is anticipated to be conducted in the summer of 2015.  When known, the meeting date will be posted on this project page in addition to a notification that will be mailed by the WisDOT.

January 26, 2015

Preliminary alignments for the sanitary sewer and water main have been completed and reviewed with City staff and engineers. Also, preliminary utility locations have been submitted to the WisDOT consultant for further information.

Several meetings with industries will be scheduled to follow up on potential impacts during construction, in addition to any improvements and/or updates regarding the new utility design.

The Common Council met on January 19, 2015 and reviewed a request to have a reduction in parking from Dickason Boulevard to Charles Street. The plan would allow for a larger terrace area between the sidewalk and the back of curb. This larger green space would provide room for trees in the terrace area and may potentially have a slowing effect on traffic as the street will be narrower with the reduction in parking. Council has directed staff to follow up with the WisDOT about the feasibility of this option.

Storm sewer design by the WisDOT consultant to is set to begin and will focus on laying out the storm lines to help improve drainage in areas along the corridor. Storm sewer design will take into account areas where flooding has occurred; such as West James Street, and will add more capacity to the system to improve current conditions. The existing storm sewer box culvert for the Second Ward Creek, which passes under East James Street, will remain as is and will not be replaced.

January 8, 2015

Approval of the Project's Transportation Plat is nearing finalization and the City will then begin the process of selecting an appraiser to assist in the acquisition of required Project needs based on the 60% layout of the Project corridor. The request for proposal (RFP) is expected to be finalized and released in the next few weeks. The City of Columbus is looking to select and approve a contract in February for this service.

In the meantime, 60% plan review comments have been returned to the WisDOT and their consultant, along with comments from City staff.

The updated State Municipal Agreement (SMA) is currently before the council for approval. This agreement will amend the original 2009 agreement. Updated information has been added since the Project has reached the 60% milestone.

Meetings with both sewer and water utility staff will be scheduled to review preliminary layouts and the extent of sewer and water replacements in the Project. All sewer laterals will be replaced from the sewer main in the street to the right-of-way line. Water services will be replaced from the water main to the shut off valve located in the terrace area. Only water services north and west of the North Water Street and James Street intersection will be replaced as the water services from Water Street to River Road were replaced in 2005.

Preliminary street light and traffic signal design is anticipated to be completed in the next few months and will be presented and reviewed with City staff, the WisDOT and their consultant responsible for incorporating it into plans.

December 23, 2014

The 60% meeting was completed at the WisDOT on December 22, 2014.

The project will now enter the next phase which will consist of the: final approval of the Environmental Documents, the Design Study Report (DSR) and finally, the Transportation Plat. Upon final approval of the three documents, the City of Columbus will seek proposals to hire appraisers to conduct the real estate section of the project.

The real estate section will include securing Temporary Limited Easements (TLEs), which is only needed during construction and then will be terminated. Permanent Limited Easements (PLEs), which are needed for construction, are permanent and allow for improvements to be constructed outside of the current right-of-way.

Real estate acquisition will consist of purchasing land that is required for improvements. Securing the different TLEs, PLEs and lands will take place throughout 2015. The majority of the needs are TLEs, there are only a couple PLEs required and approximately 5 parcels that require land to be purchased. More detailed information will follow in the upcoming months as the final transportation plat is finalized.

December 5, 2014

The 2017 James Street 60% design plan review meeting will be held between City of Columbus Staff, the Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and their engineer, on Monday, December 22, 2014 at the WisDOT Region 1 office. This meeting will be a review of the current status of the project related to the "street" elements of the plans: driveway impacts, curb locations, street cross sections, pavement, transportation plat, temporary limited easement (TLEs), permanent limited easement (PLEs) and right-of-way acquisition locations.

Currently, the street lighting and traffic sign design is progressing and will be in preliminary stage in the spring of 2015 for review.

The sanitary sewer design has completed the field survey and the design locations have been determined with alignments for replacement limits are being determined.

Both water and sewer plans are expected to be at the 30% complete stage by the end of 2014. A meeting with City Staff will be conducted to review the improvements.

60% utility plans will be incorporated into the WisDOT plans near the end of the 1st quarter of 2015.

November 17, 2014

The roadway portion of the project is reaching 60% completion. A design review meeting will tentatively be set up in early December for WisDOT Staff and City Staff to review the current stage of the project. The 60% plans will include comments that were submitted during the first two Public Informational Meetings.

Utility (sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water) design within the corridor lags the street design process to ensure any street design issues that may potentially impact the utility design are evaluated in advance. Locations for the sanitary sewer replacement, storm sewer replacement and water main replacement are also being coordinated.

All major sanitary sewers will be replaced unless they have been a part of recent projects completed on James Street in preparation for the pavement replacement. Work will also include upsizing several pipes and the replacement of one aging lift station. Additionally, sanitary sewer laterals, from the sewer main in the street to the property line, will be replaced throughout the corridor.

The water main will be replaced from North Water Street to the Industrial/Dix Street intersection. Hydrants with valves and main valves will be replaced in these limits. Water services will also be replaced from the water main to the water shut off valve (typically in the street terrace).

Storm sewer will be replaced throughout the project corridor. Inlets will be added, as necessary, and storm lines will increase in size; as needed.

November 3, 2014

The second Public Information Meeting (PIM) was held regarding the STH 16/60 (James Street) project in Columbus on Wednesday, October 29, 2014. Roughly 50 citizens were present and several provided valuable feedback to the design team so they are aware of concerns so they can be addressed or public support in moving the design forward.

There was a presentation to explain the needs of the project, some key issues, project improvements and the overall project schedule. The exhibits that were on display at the PIM can be viewed by clicking on the links below:

  • PIM #2 Project Overview
  • PIM #2 Streetscape Concepts
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • PIM #2 Roll Plot
  • PIM #2 Typical Sections

If you are interested in providing any comments or concerns on the project, the standard window of opportunity to comment is seven (7) days after the meeting, as stated on the comment form, but we will accept anything we receive until decisions or directions are made on the alternatives presented. Click here to view and print the Comment Form.

Transportation Project Plat (TPP) is currently being developed and is expected to be completed this winter. The TPP will be used as the basis for the needed right-of-way acquisitions and easements.

Survey information for design of sanitary sewer and water main has been completed and the design team will be preparing 30% plans through the end of the year.

Environmental documents have been completed and submitted to regulatory agencies for review and comment. Copies of these documents are available at City Hall for review.

A project team progress meeting will take place in December.

Click here for the project design schedule.

September 19, 2014

A meeting with the WisDOT team was held September 9, 2014 at the Columbus Water & Light office to discuss City of Columbus issues, design status, environmental issues, streetscaping, traffic signal & traffic lighting, geotechnical report and traffic control.

Realignment of Continental Drive is being considered by the City Council to address safety issues.

WisDOT is currently working on updating the State Municipal Agreement (SMA) and will present to the City at the end of September.

Progress continues on the 60 percent roadway design plans. Utility (water and sewer) preliminary design contracts have been presented to City Council for approval. Preliminary design (30%) of these facilities is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Phase 2.5 Environmental Investigations of contaminated sites identified in the Phase 1 studies have started, Section 106 documents have been submitted to State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) for review and comment, and a draft Environmental Report (ER) is expecte to be completed by the end of September.

Geotechnical reports for the project have been completed, but the Pavement Types Selection Reports have not yet been provided by WisDOT.

The construction project is expected to be divided into three segments (Industrial - Blackhawk) (Blackhawk - STH 73) and (STH 73 - Manning).

The second Public Information Meeting (PIM #2) is expected to take place in mid-November and the subsequent progress meeting will take place in December.

August 22, 2014

Since the Public Informational Meeting (PIM), which was held on June 26, 2014, there have been several developments on the project. Regarding preliminary design, the City of Columbus has decided the following, with respect to key intersections along the project corridor:

  • Manning Street intersection will be improved by realigning Manning Street to improve the skew angle and keep the intersection at full access.
  • STH 73/Ludington Street intersection will be improved by providing additional space for right turning vehicles. One eastbound parking stall and three westbound parking stalls will be removed.
  • Industrial Drive/Dix Street intersection will be improved by eliminating the split-phase signal, providing left and right turn lanes on all legs of the intersection, and adding islands/crosswalks to facilitate pedestrian crossing movements.

The City has developed a concept streetscaping plan for the project corridor. The plan will develop further as the project progresses. Additionally, draft environmental documents are currently being reviewed and are nearing submittal.

A meeting to review 30 percent roadway design plans is scheduled for September 3, 2014 at the WisDOT office in Madison.

July 2, 2014

Progress continues on the street corridor planning. A meeting was held June 26, 2014 with the WisDOT team to discuss intersection design, signalization, environmental issues, historic structures and streetscape.

Soil borings have been completed for the pavement design portion of the project. Some supplemental soil borings will be required for utility design in the upcoming months.

Information on driveway access and intersection functionality have been discussed with the Common Council to make decisions related to the new design.

Construction sequencing was discussed to determine the method of least impact to the residents, businesses and City. Tentatively the design team is exploring a three phased construction approach that will shut down one of three sections to perform work and then reopen to traffic. The intended result will minimize impact on any one area, versus closing the entire project corridor down to traffic for the full length of the project.

60 percent roadway design plans are anticipated for August 2014 and a draft transportation plat is anticipated in October 2014.

June 11, 2014

The WisDOT consultant has completed the more detailed field survey to locate all utilities in the corridor for the James Street reconstruction project. The next progress meeting with staff will occur on June 26, 2014.

The City consultant continues to work with the City's task force to develop the Community Sensitive Design (CSD) for the corridor. Decorative lighting, signage and other amenities such as colored cross walks are all being discussed.

The environmental and historical studies for the corridor will be finalized next month and ready to submit to the required agencies for concurrence.

Intersection alternatives have been reviewed and discussed with the City council and staff the last two meetings regarding improvements to intersections to make them more efficient and improve current issues.

May 16, 2014

The Public Informational Meeting was held on April 16, 2014, about 60 people were in attendance and the meeting generated about 15 written comments at various points along the project route. The next progress meeting with the WisDOT and City staff will be held in late June.

Survey work in the corridor has been progressing and additional utility information has been gathered over the last month. Historical properties have been identified along the route and environmental issues have also been identified.

The City has formed a task force to discuss the aesthetics for the corridor. The administrator has coordinated the select team that has representatives from many different groups within the City. The City Council has approved the hiring of an outside consultant to help guide the task force and City through the streetscape planning. This planning process will include many options to spend the discretionary moneys provided by the WisDOT, also known as CSS funds. The value of the funds is approximately $168,000. Draft plans for the streetscape should be completed in late June.

Since the project has reached the 30% milestone, the City will be working with the WisDOT to update the state/municipal agreement that was originally drafted in 2009. New information is available which includes updates to the formulas related to cost sharing and also updated project costs along with the scope of the project. The agreement will need to be updated with the current information and approved by the City. This agreement will see several more amendments as the process progresses.

April 23, 2014

The first Public Information Meeting (PIM) was held regarding the STH116/60 project in Columbus on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Roughly 40 citizens were present and several provided feedback to assist the design team in concerns or support in moving the design forward.

If you are interested in providing any comments or concerns on the project, the standard window of opportunity to comment is seven (7) days after the meeting, as stated on the comment form, but we will accept anything we receive until decisions or directions are made on the alternatives presented. Click here to view and print the Comment Form.

Comments can be provided to Aaron Steger at KL Engineering or Dave Pilon at WisDOT until Wednesday, May 14 for the 30% plans.

Aaron Steger

Dave Pion

Note: Another meeting will be held later in 2014 to review progress on the project.

April 14, 2014

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has scheduled a public involvement meeting to present information and gather public comments on the reconstruction of James Street. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 16 from 4:30 PM to 7 PM at the Columbus Middle School (multi-purpose room). The meeting will be an open house format with a brief presentation at 5:30 PM.

WHAT: Public Informational Meeting #1
WHEN: Wednesday, April 16th from 4:30 - 7:00 PM
WHERE: Columbus Middle School: Multi-Purpose Room - 400 South Dickason Bloulevard

The meeting will discuss the project's proposed improvements. Click here for a listing of these improvements.

March 4, 2014

The City of Columbus and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) are working together in the planning and development stages of a roadway reconstruction for James Street (STH 16) from Industrial Drive to Manning Street. This 1.2 mile project will consist of replacement or upgrades to the existing sanitary sewer, watermain, and storm sewer; in addition to curb and gutter. It is anticipated that the grading and disturbance limits will extend from right-of-way to right-of-way. This James Street reconstruction project is planned to be bid in late 2016, with construction scheduled to begin in early 2017.

WisDOT will also prepare plans for improvements at the USH 151 Interchange Area (Project ID: 1401-02-04) including improvements to STH 16 between Industrial Drive and the STH 60 intersection. Construction of these improvements will be delayed until 2021.

Upcoming Events:

  • March 13, 2014: 30% Preliminary Design plans submitted to WisDOT and the City of Columbus for review and comment
  • April 16, 2014 at 4:30 PM: Public Information Meeting (PIM) #1 at Columbus Middle School (Multi-Purpose Room)
  • Early April 2014: Design Progress Meeting #3

Frequently Asked Questions

Several questions have come up regarding reconstruction, listed below is additional information you may find helpful.

Q: Will the road be widened through the entire project corridor?

A: It varies, but at this time, no. Approximately 60% will be widened and another 26% will actually be reconstructed narrower than the current road. The balance of the project will remain the same width. The area not changing in width is primarily confined to the downtown area between Dickason Boulevard and Water Street. Where the width does change it will vary approximately 1 to 2 feet wider or narrower along the corridor.

Q: Will pedestrian traffic including bicycles be accommodated in the design?

A: Yes. Sidewalk and bicycle lanes will be provided along the entire project corridor on both sides of the street. The City may consider moving bicycle accommodations to a parallel route with the downtown.

Q: Will the signalized intersection at James Street/Dix Street and James Street/Ludington Street be improved?

A: Yes. The intersection will be evaluated using the latest traffic analysis information and input from the City. Improvements include new updated signals with pedestrian upgrades. Depending on location, some improvements will be made to lane widths and turning movements.

Q: Will parking remain the same?

A: At this time parking throughout the downtown portion of the project is expected to remain the same. Parking between Charles Street and Dix Street will be reviewed along with parking between Waterloo Street and River Road.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact:

Jason Lietha, P.E.
City Engineer or 608.819.2600

Patrick Vander Sanden
City Administrator