City’s projects move ahead
Plan Commission OKs plans for bridge, grocery store

By ALEX ZANK - Daily News

June 2, 2015

 The sun shines across the site for the future Meijer Tuesday evening in West Bend.  
Photo by John Ehlke

WEST BEND - A proposed pedestrian bridge/pocket park and a large grocery store construction project are each a step closer to completion.

West Bend’s Plan Commission approved both a conditional use permit and site plans for the long-discussed pocket park and pedestrian bridge over the Milwaukee River in downtown West Bend.

The plans included the removal of the two existing bridges in addition to the park and bridge construction.

The pocket park will be next to the northeast corner of Sal’s Pizzeria on South Main Street. The bridge will cross the Milwaukee River, with its east landing near the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

City Engineer Max Marechal said the city will have the contract out for the pocket park this week.

“We’re shooting for awarding it at (city council) mid-June,” he said, adding the work will start the first half of July.

The bridge will be started in August and construction will continue throughout the fall, Marechal said.

After the commission approved the plans, Mayor Kraig Sadownikow thanked the members.

“As you’ve all been paying attention, there has been discussion going on for quite some time,” he said. “We had several different listen groups, several different committees put together, the latest of which has been working the past 12 months, maybe a little more to bring forward what you see in front of you today.”

A proposed Meijer store would be located at the corner of Parkway Drive and South Main Street.

The more than-192,000square-foot store would bring in approximately 250 jobs, according to information provided by the city. The commission approved its site plans as well.

Jim Reinke said at the meeting three driveways would access the store from Parkway Drive, and there would be a principal driveway from South Main Street. Meijer is in negotiations with another business in the area to work out an agreement for constructing the South Main Street driveway.

“A traffic impact analysis has been has been provided to the city and … makes recommendations for improvements to the road network system,” he said at the meeting.

The suggested improvements include striping at parts of Paradise and Parkway drives, a dedicated right turn lane on the westernmost driveway on Parkway Drive and widening parts of South Main Street to accommodate a left turn lane down the center.

“They’re also proposing traffic signals at the intersection of where their driveway will meet (South) Main Street,” he said.

Concerns with traffic near Meijer Commission member Jed Dolnick voiced a concern of what traffic around the Meijer store may look like in the future.

“My only concern is in the future if this ends up dumping a lot of traffic onto Parkway,” he said. “If we’re going to need signals on Parkway and Main, that will be the city’s costs unless there’s an agreement Meijer would cover that.”

Sadownikow said that was a good point to bring up to Meijer in the future, as that would be an item for city council to consider.

David Watry, who said to the commission he was speaking on behalf of Networkers Funding, said the business has a “grave concern” with the Meijer store’s potential impact on employees trying to reach its building at 2200 S. Main St.

He said the business has 27 employees coming into and leaving work at the same time, and he had concerns with the amount of time it will take them all to leave at the end of the day.

“We are a growing business … so it’s only going to get worse,” he said, adding the business views this as a safety issue. “We just purchased the property about a year ago, and we certainly would not have had this issue been before us.”

Sadownikow said city council is responsible for traffic patterns and signaling.

“This process will still come before the (city) council once, as staff mentioned, the traffic analysis is completed,” he said.

He welcomed Watry to reach out to staff, who can help establish discussions between the two businesses in order to find a solution to any issues.