By Jacob Mathias
More options are on the way regarding street access into the Stevens Point Industrial Park.
At a meeting of the city’s Board of Public Works on November 9, Public Works Director Scott Schatschneider said he’s been taking with area businesses about possible changes to the intersection in preparation for a new overpass at the County Club Dr. overpass.
“There’s a lot of concerns and their concerns are justified,” said Schatschneider.
Concerns over Coye Dr. arose after plans to construct revealed Joerns Dr. would need to be closed. The closure would mean bring the access points to the industrial park down to one, an access and safety concern for business owners in the park.
“Joerns must be closed. That’s a given because it’ll end in the side of a hill,” said Mayor Mike Wiza.
Overpass construction is expected to begin in spring 2017.
Current options proposed by AECOM include extending Heffron St. from its current termination point to meet with Hoover Rd. This option would allow secondary access into the industrial park but does raise concerns with some businesses about expansion limitations as well as homeowners on Howard Ave., who are worried about property loss, property value and truck noise.
An extension of Coye Dr. across Hoover Rd. is also a proposed option to ease traffic loads but with similar concerns.
Some improvements to the current Coye Dr. intersection, including right-of-way additions, have been approved and are in the works.
Alternative options will be presented to the committee and public in December’s Public Works Committee meeting. Affected residents are expected to be in attendance.
Schatschneider said he expects the Coye Dr. alternatives are going to be much more straightforward than second access options, thought it was not clear was those alternatives might be.
“Just because there’s alternatives in front of you next month doesn’t mean anything has to be decided,” he said.
Wiza said he encourages anyone with concerns or questions about the overpass and road alterations to contact the Public Works Department.
Wiza said a wait-and-see approach may be in order regarding the roadway. With Skyward changing locations, several hundred people will be removed from the area’s traffic patterns which would eliminate some congestion concerns in that area.
“Maybe can hold off and see how things play out,” he said. “Until somebody re-purposes that building, you’re going to reduce traffic significantly.”
Schatschneider agreed this is also an option.
The Board of Public Works meets again on December 14 at the Lincoln Center. The Public Works Department can be reached at (715) 346-1561.