Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


State Street committee votes to speed construction

Committee members approved accelerated construction of the 200,
300 and 400 blocks of State Street and the addition of a triangular
traffic island at a State Street design meeting Thursday night.

<p>The designers working on the project, including Ken
Saiki of Ken Saiki Design Inc., who will help implement the
reconstruction, discussed previous plans to construct a planter
island at the meeting place of Carroll, Mifflin and State streets
before the decision was voted on.

<p>According to Saiki, the design committee’s original
plan included the construction of a triangular island but was
altered after engineers raised concerns. Some of the concerns cited
possible interference with utilities and snow removal. Others also
worried the original plans would interfere with the annual Crazy
Legs running event.


<p>”What we had originally thought of was thought to be a
hazard,” he said.

<p>With the Carroll and State Street areas being part of
the main route, a permanent island was seen as a tripping

<p>Designers then looked into other options. One of these
included a grouping of potted plants. The movable pots were seen as
a more flexible option.

<p>However, Madison City Council President Mike Verveer
opposed the idea of the planters, saying they would have a more
temporary look to them.

<p>”I like the initial plans better,” Verveer said.
“[They] were much more appealing.”

<p>The triangular island was nonetheless approved in the
final vote.

<p>The next step for the designers includes the final
design of the island, which will consist of a cement barrier with
plants in the center.

<p>Saiki said the main difficulty now lies in adequately
planning and timing the island.

<p>”I think we have to take some time to get this done,”
he said.

<p>The expanded renovation of State Street was also
approved in the meeting. The design team’s contract was extended to
the 300 and 400 blocks of State Street, while minimal work is
planned for Gorham Street.

<p>Verveer approved the speeding up of the process on the
condition that no additional city borrowing would be needed.

<p>The committee came to a unanimous decision based on
these conditions.

<p>Work will begin in May with tentative plans to be
completed by January 2005. Although the original schedule has been
delayed, the design team hopes to finish as soon as possible.


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