Council considers narrowing Oregon, closing parts of Murdock for weeks

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A proposal to narrow the roadbed of Oregon Street and widen its sidewalks is one of two major street decisions that the Common Council will consider at its Aug. 8 meeting.

The other issue is whether to approve the closure of two sections of Murdock Avenue for up to 18 weeks.

On Oregon Street, the city’s Department of Public Works is planning a major overhaul of the sanitary sewer, stormwater drains and water mains that run underneath the roadway. When it puts everything back together, the city would like to have wider sidewalks.

Part of the reason is lower cost, but the city also wants to accommodate the kind of pedestrian-friendly retail and residential development it hopes will spill over from the nearby Sawdust District, where the Wisconsin Herd basketball team will start playing this fall.

The major hitch is whether to keep the street at 40 feet throughout or to widen it somewhat at the intersections of West Ninth and West South Park avenues to allow for turning lanes.

The Traffic Review Advisory Board is recommending the wider intersections while the Pedestrian and Bicycling Advisory Committee wants to maintain a uniform width.

The uniform 40-foot “configuration would result in a combined right turn and straight lane and a dedicated left turn lane,” said James Rabe, the director of public works. He is also in favor of this approach, but it will be up to the council to decide.

On Murdock, the contractor, Dorner Inc., is asking for permission to close the street completely between Algoma Boulevard and Vinland Street and between Harrison and Bowen streets.

On the western part of the project, Dorner had considered keeping one lane open during construction using flag signals, but the city staff determined that this approach would lead to big traffic backups and is recommending that a complete closure be allowed for up to six weeks.

The council will also be asked to approved the closure of the Harrison to Bowen section of Murdock for up to 18 weeks and the intersection of Murdock and Bowen for up to one week.

Photo: City staff is proposing to narrow the roadway on Oregon Street and widen the sidewalks. Copyright Miles Maguire 2017.

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About Author

Miles Maguire

Miles Maguire is the author of Advanced Reporting: Essential Skills for 21st Century Journalism. He was the founding editor of the Oshkosh Community News Network, a nonprofit online news organization whose work was cited as a notable innovation in journalism in the 2005 Knight-Batten Awards. Send questions, comments and suggestions to miles.maguire@yahoo.com.

8 Comments

    • Right! Just like our messed up Main street! Where the hell will one park for those businesess? New York sidewalks in little ole Oshkosh. Ridiculous!! Planning has always sucked in this city. We cant sustain an airport although we hold the worlds largest airshow, gave that to Appleton. Can’t sustain a mall, gave that to Appleton, now they want to give away a public park to Oshkosh Corp and narrow one of the 4 major roads..and I’m sure others could add to the list of poor management this city has edured.

  1. How about using some of this wasted “Beautification” money on creating more programs for youth or helping communities organize neighborhood watches? I think the dramatic increase in crime in this city needs to be addressed. This mayor and council is wasting money by attempting to put a band-aid on a gaping wound. How much has been spent on landscaping alone this year?

  2. And why can this city neber plan anything around the school year calendar. I know it can be a pain to have so much construction going on in the summer months, but the roads are a lot less busy then when school is on vacation. Like the bridge maintenance, it could be done in spring on days there is no school.

  3. There needs to be a North and South ingress and egress to Downtown Oshkosh before it becomes a ghost town. Would be a tremendous noon to Downtown and would give East side a better access to 41. Is the council attempting to make Oshkosh disapear?

  4. Pingback: Oregon Street merchants win delay in sidewalk decision

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