By Brandi Makuski
The City of Stevens Point invites the public to participate and provide feedback for the ongoing Bus. 51 project during a third round of public meetings later this month.
Amy Canfield from engineering firm AECOM will present the recommended design alternatives, and the next steps for the project.
AECOM was hired in late 2019 to complete 30 percent of the design for the three-mile span of road. The entire roadway between the city’s northern entrance at I-39 to its southern limit at Minnesota Ave. needs replacing.
The project team has already held two rounds of public meetings, in September 2020 and March 2021. Public Works Director Scott Beduhn said the city also spent a year meeting with various groups of stakeholders, including business owners, private citizens, the downtown business association, and UWSP students.
“We really do want to hear from the public on this,” Beduhn said. “There’s no way we’re going to make everybody happy but we want everyone to know that we do hear them.”
Rebuilding the road is a necessity due to aging underground utilities, some of which Beduhn said date back to the 1930s, and poor pavement, high crash rates, and “the need to improve multimodal accommodations for local residents and students.”
Both two-lane and four-lane alternatives were considered in certain segments of the corridor, but Beduhn said a common theme from previous public meetings was the desire to keep Bus. 51 as a four-lane road.
Several intersection options have also been considered, such as realignments at the Patch and Rice streets, and a possible roundabout at Fourth Ave.
Two opportunities for public participation are being offered. The first will be a virtual Q&A via Zoom on Monday, July 26, from 5-6 p.m. Zoom information follows:
Meeting ID: 836 7640 2924
Phone: +1 312 626 6799
An in-person open house will be held at Pacelli High School, 1301 Maria Dr., from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 27.
Members of the community can also provide comments via an online comment form located at StevensPoint.com/Business51. All comments need to be received by August 7, 2021.