By Brandi Makusi
State and city officials will be on hand Oct. 16 to formally mark the opening of a new overpass on Country Club Dr./Hoover Ave.
More than a decade in the making and under construction since March, the overpass — referred to in professional circles as a “grade separation” — provides a bypass over the CN railroad crossing that has for years irked motorists and thwarted quick passage for emergency responders in that area.
Mayor Mike Wiza announced a dedication event will be held 4 to 6 PM at the south base of the new overpass on Oct. 16, with a ribbon-cutting scheduled for 5 PM.
The overpass officially opens to traffic on Oct. 19.
“A lot of people are very excited to finally see this project completed,” Wiza said.
Special guests at the dedication include State Senator Patrick Testin and Assemblywoman Katrina Shankland. Former Congressman Dave Obey — who Wiza said was “instrumental in securing federal funding for the project — is also scheduled to appear.
Former Mayors Gary Wescott and Andrew Halverson, both of whom worked in the early phases of the project, will also be present for the ceremony.
Snacks are being provided by the Stevens Point Country Club, and Wiza said a limited amount of commemorative coins will be given out to the public.
Parking will be available in the parking lot at Herrschner’s, 2800 Hoover Ave., and the north lot of Delta Dental, 2801 Hoover Road. Stevens Point Auxiliary Police will be on hand to direct parking.
The grade separation project has been bouncing around city offices for more than a decade, but became an official focus for city government in April 2014, when former Mayor Andrew Halverson announced that money earmarked for the Bus. 51 remodel would be rerouted to fund the new overpass.