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Neighbors Angered Over Four Mile Road Project

Mike Hayek, the village engineer, said it could be weeks before excavation begins and the biggest hold up is Union Pacific, which just walked away from laying the track and that work was supposed to start in June.

About a dozen neighbors living near the Four Mile Road underpass project registered their frustration with the at a meeting Tuesday night.

No action was taken, but several village board members and neighbors asked the village engineer if anything could be done to open the road back up.

John Longo, 3112 Four Mile Road, expressed his frustration with the road being closed for six months with little work being done.

"If you’re not going to work on it, I think it should be re-bid, or cover it up and forget the underpass," Longo said.

Village President Ron Coutts explained the need for the overpass saying that We Energies expects to have two to four trains with 150 to 180 cars each in a 24-hour period, which has blocked traffic on Douglas Avenue. The underpass project includes building a bridge over the road so the train can go over the road. The Village closed the road in October.

"Yes it's not moving very fast because we've had to deal with the Post Office, we've had to deal with the railroad and it's not easy," Coutts said. "I know it hasn't been easy and it's been causing some problems."

Kevin Wanggaard said he wondered if the road couldn't be opened back up if there wasn't any significant work being done.

"If we run into it being closed for three or four months with no activity then we need to do something," he said.

But Mike Hayek, the village engineer, told the Board that it could be two to three weeks before any excavation could take place because they had six items to work through and four had been completed.

One of the hold ups included Union Pacific changing the track shift, which resulted in the project being redesigned and the Village is now waiting for the plans to be approved, Hayek said.

"Now their union forces will not be laying the railroad ties, the ballast and the steel track, that's a $1 million job that was just dropped on me last week," Hayek said. "We are now designing it to get that done and it will be in the paper next week."

Hayek also warned the Board about opening up the road and said he didn't recommend doing that for liability reasons.

"The liability is there... if you re-open that road and someone gets hurt, it's absolutely on the Board's shoulders," Hayek said.

thomas spieker April 18, 2012 at 06:32 AM
Fire hayek he needs to go now!
Tuco April 18, 2012 at 12:12 PM
""Now their union forces will not be laying the railroad ties, the ballast and the steel track, that's a $1 million job that was just dropped on me last week," Hayek said. "We are now designing it to get that done and it will be in the paper next week."" Once again a union screws the taxpayer. More proof Mr. Walker has it right!
P April 18, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I seriously doubt those "union forces" had anything to do with a decision to not do this work. Rail work is typically specialty work, and has *significant* safety ramifications if designed or constructed even slightly incorrectly. The railroad probably decided to ***bid the rail construction locally, rather than ship in RR personnel FROM OUT OF STATE to build it, in order to get the best possible cost. *** RR will probably send someone to oversee that part of the construction, to make sure it’s done correctly, but they will use local labor, **not due to the union screwing them over, but because using local resources rather than bringing in out of state resources, will cost LESS**. RR has probably determined the project is simple enough (straight rails, short stretch, etc) to not require specialists. Perhaps the RR needs their own experienced personnel on a much more complicated job somewhere else. I'm guessing that the RR corporate engineering staff designed the rails, created drawings, and drew up bid documents for their part of the project. The local engineer is responsible for coordinating the local bid effort, publishing, etc. Railroads "built this country" and are happy to remind you of that over and over again.They are notoriously hard headed, and come from a culture where the job was done with sledgehammers. Management is just as hardheaded or worse, and the RR's answer to no one but themselves. It's tough to coordinate with that.
The Racine Truth April 18, 2012 at 07:31 PM
This isn't the first time that Mike Hayek has cost taxpayers due to a lack of planning. I have witnessed Hayek harass home owners with small projects like building a shed for a garden and I do literally mean harass. Putting huricane clips on a 8x10 shed, come on Hayek. Maybe if you worried about what was important rather than flexing your muscle for homeowners this road would be done on schedule and on budget. Hayek's problem is that he has a big head and he doesn't have his priorities correct. A project like this should have had a full plan drawn up a long time ago. A good plan for a project involving millions of dollars includes contingencies such as "have it dropped in your lap". I have seen enough of Hayek in action to know that we can do better. Hayek lacks a sense of priorities that match those which are consistent with members of the community.
upset father April 18, 2012 at 07:34 PM
P all I see in your comment is I guess , probably , and even a doubt . Well I don't doubt its the union that does dictates how , when , and by who the job gets done . That's the problem with unions they dictate the or it doesn't get done .
Busted Knuckles April 18, 2012 at 08:18 PM
I believe that should read "Union Pacific" forces...
Patrick Johnson April 19, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Here I thought that the board did not draw the berm or road correctly and was caught by the RR which sent the Board back to the drawing and the process had to be started over?
Ramondo Elia April 22, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Well said Tim, I think Barret and Hayek are related, both like Half ass trains.... just saying

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