McDill Auto Preps for Bus. 51 Expansion
Verill Street vacated in preparation of future construction
By Brandi Makuski
Officials from Whiting last week approved vacating an unused street on the village map, a formality for possible expansion of one Post Rd. business.
The village plan commission vacated a portion of Verrill St., also know as Pine St., found only on the official street maps of Whiting and Portage Co. at the rear of a large wrecking lot owned by McDill Auto. The company houses its wrecking yard, shielded from the roadway by large stone walls, on County Hwy. HH across the street from its garage and office.
“It was never really built into a street, so there’s not a road there right now,” said Kurt Glenzer, co-owner of McDill Auto, 2200 Post Road. Glenzer is also a plan commissioner for the village but recused himself from the vote. “This is just some housekeeping- it’s not really a road, but it’s on the map. The street does not physically exist.”
Brent Curless, Portage Co. building inspector, said the step was a necessary one to formally remove the 66-foot-wide roadway designation from the village’s official street map. The property, located behind the wrecking lot and between School St. and McDill Pond, will be equally divided among abutting properties, he said.
Village President Paul Stroik said a request to vacate the street initially came before the village in 1978, and again in 1998, but was declined both times.
Glenzer also owns parcels to the east and west of the property, which will- along with his wrecking yard- will lose a substantial amount of roadside space with the revamp of Bus. 51, slated to begin next spring.
“Right now we’re trying to find out what the state [Dept. of Transportation] has in mind for us. Until such time as that occurs, we don’t really know what we’re going to do,” Glenzer said, who added vacating the roadway now allows the wrecking lot room to expand to the rear if necessary.
But Glenzer, whose family has owned the business in the same location for 78 years, said that’s just one aspect of the impending roadway project with which he’ll have to contend.
“We’re not going to be able to get in our [Post Rd.] driveway, basically,” he said, pointing to a large map on the wall of the Whiting board room. “We’re not going to be able to get a car in the front of the building.”
The Bus. 51 project, which widens and resurfaces the arterial road through Plover and Whiting, also extends several yards into the existing intersection at County Hwy. HH, also know as McDill Avenue. For better traffic control at the new intersection, a raised median will be installed on HH, which prevents McDill Auto’s access to its wrecking lot. Glenzer said employees regularly cross the roadway daily, sometimes using a tractor, to retrieve parts.
The wrecking lot currently has no setback, he said, and noted the project will take away a portion of that lot’s space, along with two homes near the intersection.
Glenzer said he was waiting to hear back from the DOT on the final specs for the road so he could consider what his options are.
“It’s just a waiting game right now,” he said.
The DOT announced last week single-lane closures along Bus. 51 in Plover, with crews taking advantage of the mild weather to bury utilities underground in preparation of construction.
More information on the Bus. 51 project in Plover and Whiting can be found here.