New Presentation on Bus. 51 Held Monday Night
By Brandi Makuski
While city leaders were mum on the specifics, officials from Stevens Point plan to unveil some new details on the Bus. 51 remodel for City Council members and the public during Monday’s Board of Public Works meeting, which begins at 6 PM at the Lincoln Center, 1519 Water Street.
Despite several months of public meetings explaining the extensive remodel, public objection has only grown, culminating to a boiling point during a November meeting that dissolved into a shouting match, when area residents lashed out at Mayor Andrew Halverson and other city officials over the plan for widening the roadway, potentially forcing some area businesses and homes to relocate or be razed. Residents have regularly complained about plans for reducing the four- lane to a two-lane with a raised median, saying the proposal made no sense for improving safety or traffic flow. Others question the cost to taxpayers and need for including a bike lane, while others say the project isn’t needed at all.
City leaders have countered the arguments by saying the roadway is some- 40 years old and needs replacing, and underground utilities were installed during the 1950’s, and replacing either makes no sense unless improvements are also made for safety, which means widening the road in some areas and aligning intersections as cross streets.
Halverson, along with Public Works Director Scott Schatschneider will provide the new plans for the Bus. 51 corridor, which runs from the southern city limits of Stevens Point through the I-39 exit. The planned remodel will run simultaneously with the separate project in Plover, run by Dept. of Transportation beginning in spring of 2016.