The Lodi Main Street Corridor project is a comprehensive plan to reshape Main Street from the north to the south city limits. Though the plan has been finalized and in place since 2017, there are still many local residents who are unaware of what it entails, or that it even exists.
This is the first in a series of articles about the Corridor. Over the next few weeks, the Chronicle will be explain the history, intent, and implementation of the Lodi Corridor project. A full 137-page report (PDF) is available on the City of Lodi website.
Inspired by a 2007 Capstone project by UW graduate student Leigh Gevelinger, what would become the Lodi Main Street Corridor project began in 2009. The Comprehensive Plan presented in that year included a number of goals and objectives mentioned in Ms. Gevelinger’s project. The centered on the area surrounding Highway 113 (Main Street) and nearby sections of Highway 60.
Aspects of the project included improving and adding signs, upgrading street lighting, adding benches and other amenities, and changing the road and sidewalk to encourage more foot and bike traffic.
In November of 2015, consultants from Vierbicher Engineering held an open house to discuss their initial recommendations and get feedback from the community regarding the project. In some areas, community members were asked to choose between suggested changes (such as street layout). In others they were asked to point out what they felt were strengths or weaknesses in the initial proposals. Finally, there was an opportunity for open-ended questions and comments.
Vierbircher used this feedback to update and solidify the proposed plans. A second public meeting was held in March of 2016. This plan included not only proposals for downtown Lodi, but a long-reaching plan to create a “Spring Creek Parkway”–a walking path that would run from Veterans Park, along Spring Creek to Kohn Park (formerly the farm of Keith and Audrey Kohn) across the creek from the north end of Goeres Park.
Information presented at this meeting–and the feedback received from attendees–was posted to the City of Lodi website, and remained through the first week of May 2016.
The finalized plan was accepted by the City of Lodi in 2017, and is awaiting funding before proceeding.
The first funding source for the proposed changes and improvements comes from three Tax Incremental Districts (pdf) or “TIDs” which the city was authorized to create. These are special areas where taxes collected as the result of increased property value may be assigned to special infrastructure projects.
Additional funding comes from a variety of state sources such as road improvement money, infrastructure grants, and grants from the Wisconsin DNR.
A Lodi native, Blaze attended the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay where he graduated with a degree in theatre technology & design. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world–including a 6-year stint in China. He has been a teacher, a writer, a designer, and is the founder of the Redleaf Consulting Group.