Despite eight residents saying that the stretch of 56th Street in front of their homes doesn't need reconstructing, the West Allis Common Council last night approved special assessments for the road.
The road itself, along the four blocks from National Avenue to Walker Street, was constructed in 1920 and is one of the oldest remaining in the city. The sewers and water main underneath are 100 years old. They will be dug up and replaced.
The residents might not think they are lucky, facing average assessments of $2,500, but they will be the first in the city to be offered free sump pumps along with the new road, courtesy of a grant to the city from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage Commission. The MMSD gave the money because it wants people to disconnect their foundation drains from sanitary sewers. When it rains, storm water from the drains fills the sanitary sewers, often causing sewage backups into basements. Or the pressure is sometimes let off by pouring the rain-diluted raw sewage directly into Lake Michigan and other waterways.
The only problem is that the MMSD money will run out.