By Brandi Makuski
Officials in Whiting on Tuesday will decide several details related to the village’s upcoming Bus. 51 remodel.
The project, which widens and resurfaces the arterial road through Plover and Whiting, began in 2013 with the razing of several businesses and homes along Bus. 51 in Plover. The first phase of the project — rebuilding Post Rd. between Green and Springville drives — is nearly complete and was formally dedicated on Nov. 16.
The next phase of the project will see a reconstruct of Post Rd. between Elm St. and Minnesota Ave., and is currently scheduled to begin in late 2018, according to the Wis. Dept. of Transportation (WisDOT).
The Whiting Public Works & Parks Committee will discuss, and possibly approve, details related to placement of underground utilities along Post Rd., as well as terrace and median material and final style of roadway streetlights, on Nov. 22.
Bus. 51 is one of two main traffic corridors Whiting, and is currently owned by WisDOT up to the Stevens Point city limits near Minnesota Avenue. Several buildings along the roadway have already been purchased by the DOT, but razing likely won’t begin until next year.
Once the construction is finalized, Plover and Whiting will take ownership of the roadway in each of the respective villages, The road will remain a two-lane in each direction but with added raised center medians, dedicated turn lanes, bike lanes in both directions and sidewalks on both sides of the road.
The project is expected to be complete sometime in 2021 and has an estimated price tag of $42 million, a cost which includes purchasing real estate along the roadway.
Stevens Point already owns its portion of the Bus. 51, and in 2014 changed plans for widening the corridor, instead focusing on building a new overpass on Country Club Dr. so motorists can forego long lines at a heavily-used train crossing there.
The committee meets at 6 PM on Nov. 22 at the Whiting Village Hall, 3600 Water Street. The public is welcome to attend.