Construction work begins on wrong street

City to pay contractor for 25 percent of project despite mistake

Crews began construction work on a dead-end street in Portage, only to later learn that they had ripped apart the wrong road.

Ken Schwanz and his wife, who live on Ridgeview Court, said they were returning home from a day in Madison 10 days ago when they were met with a surprise — their small cul-de-sac was completely torn up.

But it was Parkview Court, a block away, that was actually slated to be replaced. The contractor had ripped apart the wrong road.

Portage Public Works Director Bob Redelings said officials found out about the error when it was too late.

“I was just checking on the project, this was the third street out of three streets, I got up there, and about two-thirds of the street had been pulverized,” Redelings said. “Immediately, I let the grader operator know that he was on the wrong street. He was also very surprised.”

Redelings said Ridgeview Court wasn’t due for a makeover for another 10 years. Parkview Court was crumbling.

Parkview Court is now all finished and replaced. The mistaken road, however, still needs a little bit of work. 

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While some are no doubt shaking their heads at this error, neighbors such as Schwanz can do nothing but laugh it off.

“It was kind of funny,” Schwanz said. “Mistakes are made.”

The mistake was a $23,000 job. Because the city does a lot of work with this contractor, the city offered to pay 25 percent of that as a goodwill gesture even though it was a mistake. On Tuesday, the Portage City Council is expected to approve the $5,700 expense.

The contractor, D.L. Gasser Construction out of Baraboo, didn’t return WISC-TV’s calls for comment.  

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