Wisconsin DOT said their reasons to change Eagle River's Pine Street from the intersection of Highway 45-70 east to Bridge Street from four lanes to three to a small group Wednesday was due to lower than expected traffic volume, crashes, and old pavement that needs replacement.
When built, the four lane was expected to have 20,000 vehicles per day but current volume is 11,600.
DOT project engineer Jed Peters said in the past ten years there were 168 crashes with 35 causing injury with one death in that short road stretch. While the road width would not change, the lane configuration would be modified to have one travel lane in each direction rather than two and a center turn lane.
One person titled that center turn lane as the “suicide lane” with drivers using it to pass slower vehicles. Most were concernedabout drivers speeding and with not slowing for pedestrians in crosswalks, simply laying on their horns. When asked, DOT indicated they were not obligated to mark a designated bike lane.
A new sidewalk will be installed from Main Street east to Tuss Street, just past the Shell station. The project is expected to start in the fall of 2019 at a cost estimate up to $1,250,000 using 90 percent federal funds.