AKA “The rehabilitation of Highway 50 within Delavan” ~
So while some think the first sign of it being spring is seeing a robin, or the sound of a motorcycle, or playing their first round of golf, for those of us in Delavan right now, it’s the sight of orange cones. And I’m not talking about some weirdly colored ice cream cone (though why aren’t those colored, too…?), but the orange traffic cones that have popped up in the last week or so in Delavan around Highway 50 at the interstate intersection and moving west into the city.
Well, here’s the scoop – hahaha – I didn’t even intend for that to be a pun off the cone reference, but I’ll go with it! According to a press release by the City of Delavan and using an image provided by the Gazette/Tony DiNicola, this is what’s happening:
- Blue on the map:
Major work is the widening and reconstruction of Geneva Street (Highway 50) from Park Avenue (by Wileman Elementary School) east to the median area between Shopko and Tractor Supply, along with the widening and reconstruction of Borg Road and Wright Street from Phoenix Street north to the driveway into Slumberland.
This main construction work area will be done “under traffic” with one lane in each direction for through highway traffic being maintained at all times. There will be median “islands” installed in this entire project area, with left turn bays for most existing commercial driveways.
The Geneva/Wright/Borg junction will be rebuilt as a full signalized intersection, but will feature two eastbound straight lanes and two southbound left turn lanes to relieve the traffic delays. Work on this reconstruction area is planned to begin April 10 and extend to Nov. 1.
- Gold on the map:
The second work area is the repaving of Geneva Street from Park Avenue west to Wisconsin Street. While this paving work will not require closing the road to traffic, the replacement of the water mains under nearly all of this roadway segment will require the through highway traffic to be detoured using Wright Street to connect Highway 50 and 11.
While the portion of 7th Street is closed, the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Company has scheduled their replacement of the railroad crossing and installation of traffic gates. This second work area and the Highway 50 detour is planned to being April 24 and finish by July 17.
- Dashed line on the map:
The third work area will be along the north side of Geneva Street for the construction of a concrete walkway connecting Wright Street to the existing walkway on the east side of the interstate freeway. Construction of this walkway will require installation of a large retaining wall for the interstate underpass, which will require some construction closures of the northernmost westbound traffic lane.
So, does this mean avoid Delavan at all costs this summer? NO! Does this mean plan a little bit ahead to take in to consideration the construction and detours? YES! It’s no different than knowing there’s going to be construction on any given highway across the state/country during the spring and summer seasons and planning for it accordingly.
What it does mean is, as I said already, plan ahead a little bit to get to where you’re going in the city. All the businesses are still open and welcoming you to visit them. All the activities are still happening and waiting for your participation. A smidge of patience to get there and an understanding of how to get around is all that’s needed while we work to make things easier and better for the near future and beyond.
Alright, this is an insider’s perspective on how to get around: coming from the east on Highway 50 (or getting off the interstate at the Highway 50 exit), if you want to reach the businesses on Geneva Street/Highway 50, Dealz of Delavan, for example, then I would suggest turning left on Wright/Borg Road and then right on Phoenix Street to run behind and parallel to the businesses on Geneva Street. At almost any point along Phoenix Street, you can take a right to get out to Geneva Street again. For example, if you turn right on 7th Street, it’ll bring you to Delavan Lanes, which also gets you to Dealz of Delavan and Delavan Family Restaurant. If you’re trying to get to McDonald’s, then there’s an entrance off Phoenix Street to easily access both the drive-thru and their parking lot. Turning right on 7th Street off of Phoenix Street also allows you to continue through to Downtown Delavan or any of the businesses along the way on 7th Street, such as Hernandez Mexican Restaurant or Pipe & Board Designs or then downtown with Bradley’s or Lauren’s Antique & Art Centre.
Another way to get downtown easily is to take a right on Wright Street and either continue to Racine Street/Hwy. 11 and take a left as Racine Street/Hwy. 11 then becomes Walworth Avenue through the downtown, or turn left on Ann Street and then turn right on 7th Street to continue to the downtown. Taking Ann Street allows you to see the Walldog mural on the side of the Fire Station, to stop at the Delavan Historical Society and to get your car washed at Jet Wash, too, where you can see another Walldog mural. For that matter, turn right on Hobbs Drive off Wright Street and take a stroll through Congdon Gardens. If you do go all the way to Racine Street/Hwy. 11, then be sure to stop at Lopez’s Anchor In before you make the left turn to go downtown.
As I’m sure you’ve experienced, construction is a nuisance, but by no means a reason to not visit any place that it’s happening. Why miss the adventure you can find just because it might take a few minutes longer? The detours might actually allow you to see things you might not have seen otherwise. Come find your adventure… in Delavan Wisconsin.