RACINE — After nearly two years of construction, Douglas Avenue should be wrapped up and open to bidirectional traffic by Thursday, Dec. 6, city officials said.
According to a news release from the Department of Public Works in Racine, the $6.5 million project undertaken by Milwaukee-based LaLonde Contractors, “culminates a nearly decade long process of negotiation,” to alter Highway 32 from North Main Street and Goold Street to its current route on Douglas Avenue.
The project upgraded traffic signals at the several intersections. New street lighting replaced the old lighting system, which had been on century-old trolley poles. Decorative lighting at key intersections and standard lighting were added in other areas of the project.
Colored crosswalks were installed at high-visibility intersections along Douglas Avenue with added accent paving in the terrace areas near these same intersections. The DPW stated the project improves the safety of intersections along Douglas Avenue.
Some traffic changes were made to improve safety. LaSalle Street and Charles Street are “exit only” in the northbound direction. Charles Street is also “exit only” in the southbound direction. Charles Street, from Douglas Avenue to Yout Street, is now one-way northbound to help facilitate the change.
The intersection of Rapids Drive and Hagerer Street was improved to line up geometrically. Other six-legged intersections such as Douglas Avenue, Albert Street and Barker Street as well as Douglas Avenue, Kewaunee Street and LaSalle Street were modified as well.
Mandatory turn lanes were installed to create safer movements and get turning vehicles out of lanes of traffic. Travel and parking lane configurations were also changed to provide adequate vehicle capacity in certain directions during peak hours.
And the entire project is constructed with either designated bicycle lanes or shared bicycle lanes.