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Plans to Drastically Widen Main Street Shut Down

First the Village Board killed the idea of roundabouts, and now the idea of widening the street to create a center turn lane meets the same fate.

Main Street is on the fast track to a reconstruction project that changes very little.

The Sussex Village Board agreed to no longer consider in order to create a center turning lane for drivers. The idea to do so would have caused the village to purchase 5 to 10 feet of property on both sides of the existing road.

After discussing the various options, members on the board agreed that the less they can disturb residents on Main Street, the better.

“I’m in total agreement with many things, but widening the road isn’t one of them,” Village President Greg Goetz said. “The right businesses are going to come to Main Street eventually, and the ones that need a little more room on the road will be on Highway 164. It keeps a small-town atmosphere.

“I want to keep Sussex growing, but also staying the same, and that’s a tough challenge to do,” Goetz added. “Widening the road is not an option, and as far as I’m concerned, we can take it off the table tonight.”

With the idea of and a wider street now dead, the Village Board is left to work with one option: hardly changing the design of the road at all. While the project still must be completed in order to repair and replace failing utilities buried beneath the road, the core part of the road will remain the same.

The road will be slightly wider after the project is completed, but the extra space is coming after the village chose to lower it's minimum right-of-way requirements rather than extending into private property’s front lawn. Skipping those property acquisitions will also save the village money.

“It’s almost $1 million with just these numbers, and I would put the final cost more than $2 million..."

However, the work is not even close to completion quite yet. While the board has narrowed down the options for Main Street, plans for the intersection with Silver Spring Drive were saved for a future meeting.

Steve Plachinski, the project manager with the design company, said while the board is saving the discussion for another time, he looked into the cost of rerouting Silver Spring Drive to create a more traditional intersection.

“We ran some quick numbers for the Silver Spring section, and that’s about $400,000 for the actual roadway and $500,000 for the farmland acquisitions,” Plachinski said. “It’s almost $1 million with just these numbers, and I would put the final cost more than $2 million after it’s completed with lights, paint and everything else.”

In addition to talking about Silver Spring Drive, Village Board members were warned this is the second of many meetings. what type of sidewalks will be installed, whether the medians will be painted on the street or physical barriers, what type of trees should be planted and countless other items.

The next meeting has not yet been scheduled. 

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