County Highway PP speed study results released, compromise met
A compromise has been reached for a 4.5 mile stretch of road in the Town of Linwood, that’s just west of Stevens Point.
TOWN OF LINWOOD, Wis. (WSAW) - A compromise has been reached for a 4.5 mile stretch of road in the Town of Linwood, that’s just west of Stevens Point. The Portage County Highway Committee met Monday night to talk about the future of county highway PP.
The committee ultimately decided to lower the speed of highway PP and change the clearing zone for trees. They said this will improve safety while meeting the needs of people living nearby. On Feb. 2, the committee decided they would have a traffic study done on that stretch of road. The speed study broke the road down into two segments, “A” and “B.”
The study suggested the county make the speed 55 MPH for segment “A” and 45 for segment “B.” Instead, the committee decided to make the speeds 45 and 40. Lowering the speed allows the county to clear cut less trees from the side of the road. They decided that segment “A” will be a 24 foot clear cut from the center line and “B” will have a 22 foot clear cut.
“Driver safety, also safety of our crews. We have a very dedicated highway crew here, 40 plus highway employees that take care of our roads, we don’t want to have to be called at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning to be clearing roads of trees that are falling down,” Portage County Highway Committee Chair Matt Jacowski said.
Jacowski also said the clear zone will make it easier for crews to plow snow in the winter. There were also many people who live on PP at Monday’s meeting. Everyone who spoke wants to see as many trees saved as possible. They believe the road has a unique and natural feel to it that should remain untouched.
“Only selectively cutting dead and damaged trees and those really damaged as dangerous but do not absolutely clear cut is my recommendation there,” Town of Linwood resident Joan Arnold said.
“I’m not opposed to taking out trees that are damaged and diseased, but I am opposed to taking out 250-year-old trees that have been there as long as that road has been there and before,” resident Daniel Mielke said.
The people against cutting down the trees also have a petition to get the road deemed as a “rustic road.” this would mean leaving vegetation along the road and native wildlife. With the change in speed, the Wisconsin DOT now needs to approve the 40 MPH speed limit for segment “B.” The committee expects that will be approved.
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