Arbor Vitae residents raise concerns for Old US Highway 51 constructionSubmitted: 01/17/2013
Story By Hayley Tenpas

ARBOR VITAE - A year from now an old stretch of road will have a brand new look.

It's just a one mile stretch of Old US 51 in Arbor Vitae, but a lot of work needs to be done.

All that future construction prompted an informative meeting tonight.

Complete resurfacing and reconstruction of the road will begin at the end of the school year in June.

The one mile stretch from US Highway 51 to Buckhorn Road goes right past Arbor Vitae-Woodruff school.

School safety is one of the main concerns for the project.

"Since the grade school moved in there we get a lot of congestion, a lot of traffic at the intersection of Old 51 and Hwy 51 plus traffic- parent's hauling their children. That intersection's all going to be wide and it's 3 lanes up to the entrance of the grade school," said town chairman Frank Bauers.

Many people are worried about trees near the road.

To make the road 4 feet wider on each side, trees will be cut down.

Bauers believes trees will be spared if possible.

"Wherever we can save a large tree we will, but I know from a history of working with logs, practically my whole life, that when you get a big white pine tree that's 24 inches or bigger, most of them have red rot in the middle. So it's an opportunity for people to get rid of some problem trees at no cost to them," said Bauers.

When work is done, Old Highway 51 will have improved asphalt and shoulders.

The project is also completely funded.

Half the money comes from a State grant.

The other half comes from the town.

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