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Bugline Paving Puts Kink in Cannery Construction

The Bugline Trail paving project is going full-steam ahead, and that means laying asphalt straight through the Mammoth Springs/Cannery Crossing without waiting for development issues to be worked out.

With development at Mammoth Springs – formerly known as  – moving along at a snail's pace, representatives with Waukesha County say they're not waiting for the green light to lay asphalt on the Bugline Trail straight through the property.

Dave Burch, Waukesha County's enterprise operations manager, says he's through with waiting, and he hasn't heard any news Mammoth Springs is close to development. 

"The village has been working on plans to redevelop that for decades, and the county owns the right-of-way that cuts right through that property," Burch said. "If we waited for them, which we currently are, it could case a big delay in paving the Bugline. We haven't even seen any final plans yet... If they had everything together, we could include that in our project."

Sussex Village Administrator Jeremy Smith says the money used to acquire the Bugline has many rules and regulations regarding sale and development, so relocating the trail off the property is just another timing issue. He added that while he would love to give a timeline regarding development at Mammoth Springs, he doesn't have one. 

Development on the 10-acre plot on the corner of Main Street and Waukesha Avenue has been in negotiations for , mainly due to the Bugline Trail’s location. Because the former Bugline Railroad provided dropoffs and pickups of railroad freight cars to the sprawling cannery factory, the rails ran essentially right through the center of the parcel, as does the Bugline trail today.

"Unfortunately things are going slower than we had all thought. Nevertheless, things are progressing and I am very excited about this project."

Arthur Sawall, a Brookfield man who in January 2010, has been working with the village to get permission to move the trail from the center of the property to the outskirts.

"Unfortunately things are going slower than we had all thought," Sawall said in an email on Thursday. "Nevertheless, things are progressing and I am very excited about this project. Given the delays, it has allowed us to even further refine the project and make it even that much better. I am confident because of this we will be able to offer a much better product and project for the community and the village of course."

All the details and negotiations regarding the project happens behind closed doors. But the timing delays are more than anyone expected, with Sussex’s next tax increment financing district rather than a downtown Mammoth Springs development. In Sept. 2011, Sawall said to the Bugline within two weeks.

And in , readers voted the former Cannery corner as the project in Sussex they are most interested in, taking nearly 60 percent of the votes.

“Please hurry this up,” Mike . “That corner has been an eye sore for 10-plus years already. Considering it's the main entryway into Sussex it needs to be done NOW.”

When the problems are finally sorted out, Sawall said he envisions five buildings, either three or four stories high, comprised of roughly 135 units of "high-end housing" at Mammoth Springs. They would have underground parking.

He also envisions two retail and commercial-use buildings of either one or two stories, each with easy-access surface parking and filled with retail stores, offices and a coffee shop or restaurant.

Mike B June 19, 2012 at 02:05 PM
The bug line paving project isn't happening any time soon right? And they have an awful lot of path to pave. Can't they just save that part until the end and see how the cannery thing is going by then?
Andy Ambrosius (Editor) June 19, 2012 at 02:51 PM
That's what I would think, but neither the village nor the county knows how long this development deal will take, so they're just moving forward. It has been an astoundingly long time, though.
Pete June 19, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Another case of our village board "waiting for something to happen" instead of making it happen. That cannery site is a great entrance to the new reconstructed beautiful downtown Sussex. It is a major eye sore and blithed area. If the owner of the cannery site can't develop it because of rerouting the bugline, Once the bugline is paved through the site ,it will never be developed. The old migrant camp was a better entrance to the village.
Zee Xenon August 28, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I am all for improving that eyesore and community joke. A tunnel would be a wonderful addition to the Bug Line. Mr. Developer, add a tunnel through your construction plans. I bet you know of many buildings with tunnels for public use. Many of these carry thousands of vehicles per hour. We are tired of the noise from both sides on this topic, just as we tired from the cannery and train noise. Ironically, you are suffering from a past Public Domain decision (it created jobs). It was the government cowtowing to a corporation (see www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cowtowing) which is intended permanent and all kinds of other tied-in-knots legalese. Try this idea in your CUCRIT. Just make the tunnel big and soundproof.

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