River Falls to remove houses for road, utilities projects

Posted March 6, 2020

The city of River Falls will remove two houses soon to make way for the construction of the new Highway 35 ramp off of Division Street and Hanson Drive. Another house at 716 North Main St. will be removed entirely from the property to improve the location of city utilities.

The city has requested bids for the removal and restoration projects with a completion date of June 1. The houses are located at 1325 East Division St. and 456 Hanson Drive. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and federal funding will allow the addition of another ramp at the intersection of Division Street and Highway 35. The new ramp will be similar to the one on the east side of Highway 35 next to River Falls Area Hospital.

“We will be building another ramp this summer on the west side of Highway 35,” said Crystal Raleigh, River Falls city engineer. “The intent of the project is to improve safety and with that we are going to be aligning the new ramp roadway with Parkview Drive.

“What that will do,” Raleigh said, “by having both of those ramps is that we eliminate any left turns onto the highway or a left turn
from the highway onto Division.” Most of the accidents that have occurred at that intersection, according to Raleigh, result from cars turning left or waiting to turn left.

Raleigh also indicated work will begin soon. “There’s already going to be some utilities work that will begin this spring as early as March,” she said. “The actual (Department of Transportation) project will kick off in late June.”

Tom Schwalen, River Falls facilities maintenance supervisor, described the work at 716 North Main St.

“The home on North Main Street is being removed for utility, water and electric work on the back side of that property,” he said. “If the house doesn’t get moved, it will be torn down.”

The area will be filled in and planted with grass. According to Schwalen, there are no plans to build anything new at that location.