Large pipes in Grand Chute will convey underground, navigable stream

Question: What is being built at the old Pizza Hut on West College Avenue in Grand Chute? There are huge pieces of pipe on the property.

Answer: Unbeknownst to many, a navigable waterway runs beneath the parking lot of the former Pizza Hut property at 3633 W. College Ave. 316l Stainless Steel Pipe

Large pipes in Grand Chute will convey underground, navigable stream

The tributary starts north of Wisconsin Avenue and flows south into Mud Creek, which then empties into the Fox River near the north end of Stroebe Island.

Scott Koehnke, senior water management specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said the enclosure of the waterway was permitted in 1984 and 1989.

"There's a whole bunch of stream that has been put into pipe over the years," he said.

RELATED: Greenville reaches settlement with contractor for illegal dredging of navigable stream

RELATED: Wisconsin DOT determines Bergstrom signs along I-41 violate state law

Last fall, a section of the underground culvert rusted and failed. The real-estate investment company that owns the former Pizza Hut property, Catspaw LLC of Everett, Washington, is working with the owner of the adjacent Quality Inn to replace the culvert.

It is not a government project and doesn't involve the town's stormwater utility.

"Since the work was originally permitted, and we have an exemption for culvert replacements, no new permitting was required by DNR," Koehnke said.

Brett Carlton, property manager for Catspaw, said a couple hundred feet of culvert will be replaced. The old culvert was 12 feet in diameter and was made of corrugated steel. The new culvert will be made of corrugated steel that is galvanized and coated in plastic to resist corrosion.

"If the weather cooperates, they thought they might be done with the actual culvert replacement in another week," Carlton said. "Then they'll come in and do the site cleanup."

Pizza Hut had occupied the site from 1976 to 2016. Before that, it was a Sambo’s restaurant.

Carlton said the property is available for lease or sale.

Large pipes in Grand Chute will convey underground, navigable stream

Steel Rebar Post-Crescent reporter Duke Behnke answers your questions about local government. Send questions to or call him at 920-993-7176.