The present highway shop
was constructed in 1949 and although the building is structurally sound it
was fast becoming functionally obsolete in handling modern day equipment.
The trucks of the late 1940’s and 1950’s are dwarfed in size compared to
the present day trucks and construction equipment that are used to
maintain our highway system. It was becoming increasingly difficult to
perform efficient maintenance, especially during times of emergencies such
as snow storms. Also the employee’s facilities were very outdated. There
were no women’s facilities, the lunch room was a common room with the
men’s toilets and locker room and we furnished bottled water for the
employees to drink as our existing well water was undrinkable.
As the shop project was planned we felt that this was the time to move the
Highway Offices to the same location as the shop. This streamlines the
entire operations of the department. The entire staff is on site where the
work is planned and accomplished, resulting in less travel
time between the West Salem Shop to the La Crosse Office for Superintendents
and Commissioner to conduct daily business and allows more contact between
employees and the administration. Also it provides a central location in La
Crosse County for the public to access the Highway Department.
This project was in the
planning for several years with the La Crosse County Board of Supervisors
approving the hiring of an architect in September 1999 to begin the design
of the planned facility. In the planning process we visited other recently
constructed county highway facilities as well as construction firms that
have maintenance shops to get ideas of design features that work well or
don’t work well. The final design approved by the county board consisted of
a 3,000 square foot office, an 18,750 square foot maintenance shop and
included the remodeling of the existing shop into modern employee
facilities, welding and tire repair area and parts room and also the
extension of water and sewer utilities from the Village of West Salem to our
Ayres & Associates from Eau
Claire WI was the engineering firm hired to design the project. Bids for the
project were let on September 11, 2001 and Miron Construction Company of
Neenah WI was selected as the general contractor. Construction began in
November 2001 and was completed in January of 2003.
La Crosse County now has a
state of the art highway facility that will serve residents of La Crosse
County for many decades.
The La Crosse County Highway Department has been
expanded and remodeled. The $2,450,000 addition and remodeling project
includes 3,000 square feet of new office; 3,600 square fee of employee
locker/training area; 22,000 square feet of new shop; 9,200 square feet of
remodeled shop and 1,500 square feet of remodeled vehicle storage area,
totaling 39,300 square feet of improvements.
The 22,000 square foot shop addition includes six
spacious repair bays, two wash bays and one sign shop.
The remodeling project included replacing the existing
shop floor; the existing parts area, toilet/locker and boiler/storage areas
and upgrading the heating and ventilation system.
Now that the La Crosse County Highway Department has a
new office addition, the highway offices formerly located in the
Administrative Center in downtown La Crosse have been relocated to this
single site highway department facility.
Site improvements included relocating the fueling
station, adding a truck scale and relocating employee parking.
The original facility was built in 1949 and served the
County Highway Department for more than 50 years. With the expanded and
remodeling facility, the building will be able to continue serving the
County into the 21st century.
The La Crosse County Highway Department has four (4)
outlying shops at Mindoro, Midway, St. Joseph Ridge, and Shelby to better
serve La Crosse County residents.
La Crosse County held an Open House and Dedication of
the West Salem facility on Sunday, March 30, 2003 from 1 P.M. – 4 P.M.
Tours were given by the La Crosse County Highway Department personnel.
PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE
4:00 p.m. Monday of
Ralph Geary Jr.
Past Committee Members
County Board Chair
Past County Board Chair