After inaction by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the city of Milton might redo Madison and Clear Lake avenues.

If repaving would be done, it would be done simultaneously with water main repair work along the stretch. The work on Madison Avenue would be from Windsor Avenue west to Clear Lake Avenue. Then work on Clear Lake Avenue would go to the city limits.

Since both roads run concurrently with portions of Highway 59, the stretch falls under state authority, but the city can step in to do repairs if it chooses, public works director Mark Langer said. The state does not have a project on the stretch scheduled until 2029 at the earliest, according to a memo written by City Administrator Al Hulick.

“The road segment we are talking about is one that we get the most complaints about in the city,” Hulick said at a common council meeting Tuesday. “We feel we need to be proactive. If we do a main project, you have to tear up the road anyway. It was discussed that, ‘Is this the time to do this and to do some infrastructure work?’”

Hulick wrote that doing both at the same time would lead to “considerable cost savings and less disruptions” to travelers on what are two of the most-traveled roads in the city.

Hulick said there was a project along the stretch in 1994.

“Madison Avenue is all concrete and once you get to Red Rooster (at Front Street), it turns into asphalt. There is concrete underneath that,” Hulick said. “At one point, it was paved over with asphalt.”

Hulick added that the asphalt laid over concrete is the source of bumpiness along the stretch.

If the city would decide to replace just the water main, the project would cost almost $809,000. If the city were to repave just the Madison Avenue portion of the road, it could cost up to $1.1 million. If the city did work on Madison and Clear Lake, it would cost between $1.85 million and $2.5 million.

If the city decides to fix just water mains, the work would be funded through existing funds, Langer said. He recommended that if the city decides to repave the road that there should be borrowing. Langer estimated that repaving and fixing water mains could take two to three months.

Councilmembers agreed that it was important to fix the road, including Bill Wilson.

“It’s one of the gateways into the city, so that’s their first impression of Milton roads. They’re going to say, ‘Milton has lousy roads,’” Wilson said.

Council member Lynda Clark was concerned about the cost of repairs if the were pushed further into the future.

“I believe between now and 2029 the cost of materials is going to skyrocket,” Clark said. “As much as it is one of our long-term goals not to borrow funds, I would suggest we look into loans and payment plans. Waiting around to have the state do this is not going to work.”