City Seeking Grant for Duluth Avenue Improvements

Plans to improve portions of Duluth Avenue near State Highway 42/57 in the City of Sturgeon Bay now depend on whether the city is able to receive a federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) grant being awarded through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT).

The BIL was signed last November and provides additional funding for local surface transportation programs through federal fiscal year 2026.

City Engineer Chad Shefchik said city staff determined the development of the former Woldt’s Corner property at 911 Green Bay Road is likely to generate an increase in pedestrian traffic in the area, and adding sidewalks would be desired along Duluth Avenue, with the right of way south of Highway 42/57 under Door County’s control as County S.

He said the county highway commissioner supported the idea and expressed a desire to extend the sidewalk south to the Justice Center.

Sherfchik said further discussions took place with the highway commissioner and county administrator, who agreed it would be a good idea to apply for a grant the DOT is using to distribute BIL funds.  

This drawing shows the area where the City of Sturgeon Bay hopes to make improvements along Duluth Avenue upon being awarded a grant through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Source: City of Sturgeon Bay.

The proposed project for Duluth Avenue, also known as County C north of Highway 42/57 and as County S to the south, includes:

  • Sidewalk additions to the west side of the roadway north of Highway 42/57.
  • A pedestrian crossing at Highway 42/57, which would require island and traffic signal modifications.
  • Sidewalk, curbing and storm sewer additions south of Highway 42/57.
  • Repaving the roadway south of State Highway 42/57 within the project limits, to include two travel lanes, two bike lanes and turn lanes as needed.

Shefchik said the city requested statements of qualifications from potential project consultants and received four responses. 

The council voted May 17 to approve a selection committee recommendation backing Cedar Corporation as the project consultant.

Shefchik said there is no guarantee the project will be awarded a grant, which would cover 80% of the project cost with 20% funded locally. He said the city and County of Door would split that local share equally.

The project plans show sidewalk, curb and storm sewer extending along the west side of South Duluth as far south as the entrance to the Door County Justice Center, but those urbanized improvements wouldn’t extend as far south on the street’s east side with the city limits there ending farther north.

Shefchik said the entire project is estimated to cost from $1.5 million to $2 million. Much of the expense is attributable to South Duluth having steep ditches that would have to be urbanized with storm sewers, similar to what occurred when Duluth was improved north of Highway 42/57.

The grant application deadline is June 1. 

Shefchik said he expects the DOT, which would have oversight of the project specifications, to award the grants in August.

He said design plans would be put together next year, with construction expected to take place sometime in 2024 or 2025.

Absent the grant money, VanLieshout said the city has an annual road budget of slightly less than $1 million, with which a portion of the Duluth Avenue project might be able to be done later in the future.

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