Board of Public Works mulls solutions for deteriorating Lincoln Ave. culvert
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
TOMAHAWK – The City of Tomahawk Board of Public Works recently discussed several solutions regarding a deteriorating culvert on Lincoln Ave., behind Pride Park.
In a handout provided during the board’s meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, April 25, Street Department Leadperson Nick Rosenmeier said he discovered several new holes in the asphalt above the culvert on Friday, April 14.
Rosenmeier explained that upon further inspection, city employees found hollow areas under the pavement and decided to close that lane of traffic.
After peeling off the top layer of asphalt on Monday, April 24, it was determined that the washout was happening along the side of the culvert, rather than due to holes on the top of the culvert.
“Basically, the bottom of the culvert is rotted out and is eroding the gravel under the road from the bottom up,” Rosenmeier stated. “This has been an ongoing issue for the last several years, and the road has been slowly sinking around the culvert, making the road rough.”
For the time being, Rosenmeier said, city employees compacted gravel around the culvert and opened the road back up.
“The question now is what to do about it going forward,” he stated.
Rosenmeier suggested two options the city could potentially proceed with.
The first option involves repaving the area and “(hoping) it lasts several more years.”
“This would be the least expensive fix and can be done in the next month or so, depending on when (Lincoln County) can get here with their paver,” Rosenmeier said, explaining that the project would entail a 90-foot patch starting at the newer pavement from 9th St. and extending east toward Tomahawk Child Care.
Rosenmeier estimated that the project would cost roughly $7,000.00.
“The downside to this repair is that it is temporary,” he noted. “There is no guarantee how long it will last because the water flowing through the culvert is constant, and the erosion will continue.”
The second option would see the culvert replaced and the road repaved.
Rosenmeier said a plastic culvert could be utilized, but he cautioned that it could heave over time and become a problem again “in the not-so-distant future.”
He called the use of a plastic culvert a “temporary fix with no guarantee.”
A plastic culvert would carry a $5,500.00 price tag, along with additional costs associated with end walls, anchoring materials, delivery, riprap, erosion control, pipe bedding and permitting with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), according to Rosenmeier.
Rosenmeier opined that the “best, long-term solution to the problem” would be to have a contractor install a concrete pipe, which would cost a total of roughly $50,000.00 to $60,000.00.
After discussion, the board ultimately agreed with Rosenmeier, determining that the ideal option would be to move forward with the installation of a concrete pipe.
The city is expected to explore including the Lincoln Ave. work in a bid for a planned 6th St. project.