City of

District 17

Alder Samba Baldeh

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Alder Samba Baldeh

Contact Information

Home Address:

5150 Crescent Oaks Dr
Madison , WI 53704

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Baldeh’s Blog

District Updates & Neighborhood Meeting on Northeast Interceptor-Truax Extension Relief Sewer Project

June 23, 2019 10:52 PM

Neighborhood Meeting set for June 27th at Sandburg Elementary on pre-construction of Northeast Interceptor-Truax Extension Relief Sewer Project.

With construction of the Northeast Interceptor-Truax Extension Relief Sewer Project approved to start in mid-July, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District will host a community meeting to share information on the project plans, route details, traffic management and soil and groundwater sampling on Thursday, June 27 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Carl Sandburg Elementary School.

The project, which includes installation of approximately 7,800 feet of 42 inch diameter pipe running from Highway 51 and Rieder Road to the intersection of Lien Road and Thierer Road, is a priority infrastructure project needed to handle the growing volume in the area. Once the new sewer is completed, the district will line the existing sewer serving the area to address corrosion inside the 1969-era pipe and extend its life for another 75 years.

The $9 million project will involve tunneling under East Washington Avenue and excavating at depths exceeding 25 feet. The effects on traffic will be phased as the project progresses, with construction starting at the south end of the route and moving north. The project is expected to take one year.

Some tree and brush removals will be needed along the route; notably through the triangle park, through Reindahl Park and at the northern end of the project near Rieder and Old Gate roads. There will also be some tree removals required to install the sidewalk connection heading east from the intersection of Orin Road and Onsgard Road to Reindahl Park. The district worked closely with City of Madison Parks staff on the route to avoid high value trees and existing trees were avoided where possible. A certified arborist evaluated existing trees to determine their condition, species and protection requirements. The tree inventory is available here.

In response to neighborhood concerns, the district conducted voluntary soil and groundwater sampling in July 2018 that included laboratory analysis for six types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances at four locations in Reindahl Park. PFAS chemicals are ubiquitous in the environment and can be found in our bodies, our food, personal care products, stain resistant and waterproof clothing and industrial products. The September 2018 final laboratory analysis detected traces of PFAS compounds in the groundwater that ranged from below the laboratory's ability to quantify to 12.1 parts per trillion for PFOA and PFOS combined. This is far below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's lifetime exposure health advisory for drinking water of 70 parts per trillion. One part per trillion is the equivalent of one drop of water in 20 Olympic sized swimming pools.

Based on the extremely low level detections in the groundwater samples, DNR issued the required project permits with no special requirements on discharge from the dewatering process. Construction is expected to begin during the week of July 15.

Reconstruction Project, Portage Road Widening and Bike Path Construction

The City of Madison began construction on Portage Road the week of May 13, 2019. The limits of the project are on the east side of Portage Road from Hayes Road to Di Loreto Avenue.

Street Work: The proposed project will widen Portage Road from Hayes Road to Di Loreto Avenue to be 51 feet wide.  The existing street will be widened on the east side to allow room for two travel lanes, on-street bike lanes and parking on each side of the street.  New sidewalk will also be constructed along the east side of Portage Road. Traffic Islands and enhanced pavement markings and signage will be added at the intersections with Hayes Road and Di Loreto Avenue to improve pedestrian access and safety.  The widening of the street and construction of sidewalk is being completed in conjunction with the ongoing Development located at 4603 Di Loreto Avenue. Eastpark Path Construction: Construction of Eastpark Multi-Use Path and Bridge will also be included with the project. The Eastpark Path will be constructed from the Hayes Road and Portage Road intersection and extend to the northwest to connect to the east end of Di Loreto Avenue.  There will also be a connection to the path from Hayes Road across the City of Madison owned Parcel at 4662 Hayes Road.  

Sanitary Sewer: Minor adjustments to sewer structures will be required.

Water Main: No new water main is planned.  Minor adjustments to hydrants and valves will be required.  No interruptions to water service are planned.

Storm Sewer:  The existing box culvert at the Hayes Road / Portage Road intersection will be extended to the east and new storm sewer will be constructed along the east side of Portage Road. 

Construction Schedule & Impacts: Tentative Construction Schedule:  May 13, 2019 until end of September, 2019. Allowed work hours are 7AM to 7PM Mon-Sat and 10AM to 7PM Sun.

Traffic Impacts:  Portage Road and Hayes Road will remain open to traffic throughout the project duration.  The project will be phased to maintain traffic at all times.  Crosswalks will remain open on at least one side of the intersections at all times to provide pedestrian access.

Water Shut-offs:  No water service shutoffs are planned.

Tree Removals: The widening of Portage Road and construction of new sidewalk on the east side of the street and construction of the Eastpark Bike Path will require removal of trees along the east side of Portage Road and along the Bike Path alignment.   Following construction, City Forestry will review the new street terrace for new street tree plantings.  Tree species and locations of new plantings will be determined by City Forestry.

The City of Madison has awarded the contract to RG Huston Company of Cottage Grove WI. To request accommodations for special needs or disabilities, or if you have any questions regarding the project, please contact the Project Engineer, at (608) 261-9177 or by email at  Landlords, please share this information with your tenants.

Portage Road Expansion

Children's Free Summer Food Program Launches June 24

City of Madison, REAP Food Group, Madison Metropolitan School District, Madison Parks, and Public Health Madison & Dane County partner to provide free summer meals

An innovative partnership of public and nonprofit partners is addressing food insecurity for children and families in Madison again this summer. The City of Madison, REAP Food Group, Madison Metropolitan School District, Public Health Madison & Dane County, and community partners are coming together to offer the Summer Food Program. This program provides free summer meals to all children 18 and under at nearly three dozen sites citywide.

"By offering youth under age 18 free meals, the USDA Summer Food Service Program provides a critical service to children and families across the city during the summer months," comments Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. "The City of Madison is committed to providing continued funding for free summer meals to children and accompanying adults in our community and is thrilled that the program is utilizing neighborhood assets like city parks and schools to engage and serve our residents."

Several community partners will host special activities at the kickoff as well. Dane County Library will send the Bookmobile to Leopold Park (bring your library cards!), Madison Water Utility will haul out the Water Wagon, and the city clerk will host a mock election. The Madison Public Library and Fitchburg Library will also be at the event with fun activities for children. Other appearances will be made by the Madison Parks Department, Fitchburg K9 Unit, Fitchburg Fire Department, and UNIDOS. 

The partners aim to serve more children by increasing public awareness of and improving access to the free meals for both children and families. REAP Food Group will hand out free summer lunches to all children and their accompanying adults at Leopold Park and Southdale Park every Monday through Friday, June 24 through Aug. 16 (except July 4 and 5), from 12-1 pm. REAP's Farm to School Program will also provide fun, educational activities daily.

In addition to Sandburg Elementary school site, there are dozens of other locations in the Madison area, including schools, community centers, apartments and more, that will serve free breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks this summer. No registration or identification is required to receive meals; all youth 18 and under eat for free. To find sites and meal times, visit or text "food" or "comida" to 877-877.

Along with REAP Farm to School educational lunchtime activities at Leopold and Southdale parks, all MMSD Summer Food Program sites will feature locally grown, farm-fresh vegetables, coordinated by REAP Food Group and MMSD Food and Nutrition Department.

For questions concerns or suggestions contact me at

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