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MOUNT PLEASANT — A major intersection closure is coming.

Motorists should try to avoid the intersection of 16th Street and Highway 31 starting at 10 p.m. Friday, May 3, going until 6 a.m., Monday, May 6, as A.W. Oakes and Son works for 24-hour shifts to complete a water main installation underneath Highway 31 (South Green Bay Road).

Monday night, the Mount Pleasant Village Board voted unanimously to approve a variance for A.W. Oakes to crews to work around the clock to lay a 36-inch pipe to get the work done as quickly as possible.

“We’re looking at a hard closure,” said Ron Pritzlaff, assistant village engineer.

If there is an issue, particularly with the weather, the backup plan is to push the construction to the next weekend.

“If there’s inclement weather, if we get hit by a tornado, if the heavens fall, we do have a situation in which we can shift gears to get a temporary situation in place,” Pritzlaff said.

Detour routes

Pritzlaff said the detours will include Durand Avenue, Ohio Street and Washington Avenue.

“It’s a long detour,” Pritzlaff acknowledged. “But the traveling public and emergency vehicles will be able to have access pretty much up to the 16th Street, (Highway) 31 intersection, at which point there will be a hard close.”

Pritzlaff said the village will be working with police and fire officials ahead of the closure to make sure they are aware of the construction work.

“The detour will be in place a week prior, before the hard shutdown,” Pritzlaff said. “So the traveling public does get used to the new traffic pattern and how to get around.”

A.W Oakes plans to tear up the intersection, lay the pipe and fill it back up.

Pritzlaff estimates this process saves the village close to $750,000 compared to tunneling underneath the intersection.

Village Trustee Gary Feest said he hopes the village makes sure the surrounding communities and the City of Racine are aware of the closure

“There are a lot of people outside of Mount Pleasant that are going to be directly affected by this and I think the idea is, between now and then, get it out as far and as wide as possible,” Feest said. “Hopefully the word gets out but I think this is something that we need to do.”

Village President Dave DeGroot said this project “is something that’s got to get done.”

“The idea here is to get in, get it done and get out,” DeGroot said.

Pritzlaff said he is hoping the project goes smoothly without delay.

“Time is money,” Pritzlaff said.

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Ricardo Torres covers federal, state and Racine County politics along with the Village of Mount Pleasant. He bleeds Wisconsin sports teams.

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