Construction along Highway 51 is getting closer to completion. But it will still be jamming up traffic and slowing business for a little while longer.
“Here in Minocqua and there is lots of construction going on, lots of traffic and heavy equipment, whole lanes are torn up…”
For weeks it’s been down to one lane in each direction, with drivers slowly navigating through traffic cones and heavy equipment. It’s been an annoyance for locals and tourists, while businesses along the stretch say it’s had a dramatic impact on sales. They say customers are having trouble even finding the entrance to their parking lots. Some places are advertising special deals to entice customers to make the extra effort and stop in.
But Minocqua Chamber of Commerce director Kim Baltus says things are improving, and will soon be worth the wait.
“They’re starting to pour concrete for sidewalks and curb and gutter. That’s a really positive thing because the next thing to come is the asphalt, for the new roads. So they’re making good progress – it certainly does impact the community but we need to keep thinking about the longterm and the end result, and it will be very nice. And we’re getting closer!”
The 4.6-million dollar project has involved lots of underground sewer and gutter work, and will also result in new turn lanes, sidewalks, and street lighting.
Work on Highway 51 is scheduled to suspend by the end of June, and pick up again after Labor Day. Work may still continue on County J, Townline Road and Packing Plant Road throughout the summer.