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Budget woes nearly nix Ellsworth project

ELLSWORTH — The U.S. Highway 10 project and the Piety Street intersection improvement plan proposed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, scheduled to begin in 2016, will be seeing some changes. Those changes will be the subject of a Village of Ellsworth Streets Committee meeting set for 5 p.m. Thursday May 21.

The possibility of changes to the project was brought up at the May 4 Ellsworth Village Board meeting. According to an email sent to Village President Jerry DeWolfe on May 1 by project development supervisor Tim Mason, WisDOT “recently underwent a program re-balance effort here in the Northwest Region at WisDOT. We had many projects that were down-scoped, moved out to the future years or even cancelled due to budget constraints. The Piety Street intersection and USH 10 from Beulah St. to North Junction of USH 63 will have some minor impacts that I would like to make you aware of.”

Those impacts include a change in the time frame. The projects, originally scheduled for 2016, have been moved out to 2017, according to the email. The Piety Street intersection design also will be modified not to require the purchase of any residential buildings.

According to Mason, the initial proposal after the budget restructuring had been to cancel the Piety Street project all together due to the “significant real estate dollars” required to purchase property in the southeast quadrant.

To keep the project, the budget has been reduced from $300,000 to $25,000, Mason said.

Board members are hoping Mason or another DOT representative will be able to attend the May 21 meeting to answer questions in more detail.

The proposed improvements to Highway 10 from Beulah Street to the north junction of Highway 63 include pavement replacement, curb ramp upgrades, guardrail replacement, installation of new signage and pavement marking.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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