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DOT looks at 2017 date for road reconstruction

Franklin, Oak Creek to make additional improvements along corridor

The city of Franklin is considering measures to improve the streetscape along 27th Street.

The city of Franklin is considering measures to improve the streetscape along 27th Street. Photo By Katie Derksen

Jan. 15, 2013

Franklin - At this time, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is looking at a 2017 date for reconstruction of South 27th Street north of West Drexel Avenue. But Franklin and Oak Creek intend to make additional improvements along the two-mile stretch north to West College Avenue in conjunction with road reconstruction.

"It's absolutely essential we work out all the financing way in advance," Mayor Tom Taylor said.

Accordingly, the Community Development Authority will discuss expansion of a tax incremental financing district in the affected area and a consulting contract for a feasibility study on TIF district expansion when it meets at 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

TIF district No. 3 is currently centered around the Northwestern Mutual Life complex extending from Drexel Avenue to just north of West Rawson Avenue. The CDA will discuss expanding the district north to College Avenue as well as a consulting contract with Ehlers and Associates, a firm that has previously worked with the city on establishing TIF districts.

The mayor emphasized that both a consulting contract and TIF district expansion would have to be approved by the council, and said he hopes the CDA will recommend approval of a contract at Thursday's meeting.

The council gave preliminary approval for an agreement with Oak Creek on streetscaping improvements to 27th Street, which forms the boundary between the two cities. Taylor compared the streetscape plans to similar work done on 27th Street north of College Avenue.

"It would probably be a step up, with more plantings," Taylor said.

Improvements would include sidewalks, streetlights and benches, as well as landscaping.

"We have reached agreement with Oak Creek to do these things," he said.

Streetscaping improvement costs would be divided evenly between the cities, while Franklin would pay 90 percent of the cost of burying overhead wires on the west side of the street.

The CDA will also discuss potential northward expansion of TIF District No. 4 as far as Drexel Avenue. District No. 4 is at the south end of the 27th Street corridor around the Wheaton Franciscan Hospital, from West Fitzsimmons Road to West County Line Road. Reconstruction of 27th Street south of Drexel Avenue is further off than between Drexel and College.

"The two communities have been working for a long time on a vision for the 27th Street corridor," Taylor said.

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