Hazelhurst

Natalie Jablonski

State Department of Transportation officials took public comment Tuesday on a plan to reconstruct parts of Highway 51 south of Minocqua.  A thin crowd gathered at a hearing in Harshaw.

The DOT says changes to Highway 51 are necessary to improve safety.   But an earlier DOT proposal prompted community outcry, as it involved turning a stretch north of Highway Y into a four lane road and widening the bridge over Lake Katherine.  Hazelhurst Town Chair Ted Cushing says the original changes were too dramatic, but he’s much happier with the revised plan.

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The DOT has set a public hearing date for later this month to take comment on the proposed reconstruction of U.S. 51 in Hazelhurst and Cassian.

Minocqua's portion of the road work is being done this year. Hazelhurst to the south of Minocqua and Woodruff to the north have both challenged the DOT concerning plans in those towns, as has Arbor Vitae in Vilas county.

DOT Project Leader Forrest Van Asten says the meeting will give the state input...