Public Information Meeting Scheduled on Whiting’s Bus. 51 Construction
By Brandi Makuski
Officials from the Wis. Department of Transportation (WisDOT) will hold a public information meeting on the upcoming remodel of Bus. 51 in Whiting.
The phased project will come to Whiting in late 2018, widening both northbound and southbound lanes. The remodel will also produce bicycle lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the road, and install LED lighting on a new center median.
The project also includes raising the causeway over McDill Pond, which Village President Paul Stroik said would allow for pontoon boats launching from the Whiting boat launch on the west side of the road to utilize the east side of the pond.
Also planned is a reconstructed Bus. 51/Hwy. HH intersection, which, as planned, would remove nearly the entire parking lot of McDill Auto. The business has been located on the corner of Post Rd./Bus. 51 and HH for almost 80 years.
Kurt Glenzer, co-owner of McDill Auto, said plans also include constructing a raised median along the east side of Hwy. HH, which his business crosses several times a day, using a tractor to retrieve large auto parts.
“It would effectively shut us down,” Glenzer said. “We don’t know what we’re going to do if that’s what really happens.”
Additional plans for the rebuild include constructing a new fishing pier off the east side of the McDill Pond causeway, connected by a pedestrian walkway across Bus. 51, marked by four flashing pedestrian lights — the same Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFBs) placed at the corner of Division and Franklin streets in Stevens Point.
WisDOT is paying for the bulk of the project before handing roadway ownership to the village, similar to the agency’s agreement with the Village of Plover.
The City of Stevens Point took ownership of its portion of Bus. 51 several years ago and has yet to decide how it will proceed in roadway improvements.
The first phase of the remodel — stretching from Green Dr. to Springville Dr. in Plover, was completed in November. Phase two rebuilds the roadway between Elm St. and Minnesota Ave. in Whiting, with the final two phases completing reconstruction between Springville Dr. and Elm Street.
The meeting is scheduled for 5 PM on May 10 at Whiting Village Hall, 3600 Water Street.