- Plans for a new highway in Minocqua have been in affect for a while now. The Department of transportation is hoping that highway 51 will have some new changes that will affect the community in a positive way. "When we're done we'll have all new pavement. A lot safer. We'll have bicycles facilities on the road and bicycle facilities off the road," said DOT Project Development Supevisor, Robin Stafford. "We've put sidewalks on both sides so pedestrians will be easier getting up and down the highway. There will be a lot of benefits to the new project."
But Minocqua business owners don't see it that way. "Being as if there's really only one main artery from south going through the Northwoods in this area and it's right out here in our front door, it's really going to have a negative impact." said Kurts Island Sports Shop Owner, Kurt Justice. In fact some owners think the process and the finished product will take away some of their profits. But the DOT seems to be locked in. "Unfortunately with such a big project like this you can't really appease to everyone," Stafford said. "And so there is some people up there who aren't happy, but again overall I think the community and the traveling public will be very happy with the product when it's done." Even though it has been set in stone for Minocqua, residents are hoping DOT will take their opinions into consideration. "The Minocqua project is scheduled to start this spring and we're hoping that the DOT still has room for modification and changes based on some of the discussions that we had at town hall last Friday." said 34th District Assembly Representative Rob Swearingen. Now projects in other towns such as Arbor Vitae, Hazelhurst and Woodruff have not been finalized.Swearingen suggests that if you want to voice your opinions on the project, you should contact your town board and chairman.
Story By: Shardaa Gray