City Council Discussion on the future of Thomas Street’s Neighborhood This Tuesday, July 29th
City of Wausau Official Notice and Agenda
Committee of the Whole
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 5:30 p.m. — Agenda Item #1:
Discussion on selecting a design plan for proposed Thomas Street reconstruction: (2 plans of two lane/four lane cross section with four lanes from river to 3rd Avenue; two lanes from 3rd Avenue to 17th Avenue including turn lanes; and Kevin Korpela’s proposal)
Wausau’s City Council members will meet as a “Committee of the Whole” Tuesday, July 29th to discuss several plans for Thomas Street Reconstruction.
Many people recall the contentious debate surrounding the various plans for this project. Several spoke at the July 8th City Council meeting expressing their opposition to a four lane proposal and the City’s acquisition of about 50 private homes and businesses along the street. Perhaps most importantly, Wausau resident, Kevin Korpela, offered a reconstruction design that would save these homes and businesses while updating the street to meet traffic, pedestrian and cyclists needs.
Speaking as both a Wisconsin registered architect and local business owner, Mr. Korpela presented four options for the Thomas Street reconstruction — all of which provide for three lanes: two driving lanes and a center turning lane. His proposal is also in keeping with Department of Transportation (DOT) studies and statements from the city’s own consulting firm, GRAEF Consulting, that current and projected future traffic on Thomas Street does not warrant four lanes. His options not only preserve and enhance the homes and neighborhood of Thomas Street, but they reduce the cost of the project by millions of dollars.
Similar three-lane street specifications are already used successfully in Wausau. The photograph below of North Sixth Street shows three lanes on a road bed of a similar width as the current Thomas Street.
The City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 29th may result in decisions critical to the future of Thomas Street residents and families. To help citizens understand their options, Middle Wisconsin is publishing the entirety of Kevin Korpela’s July 8th presentation to the Wausau City Council below. Included with this are 3-D representations of the Korpela options by councilman and architect David Oberbeck.
Please take time to study the design options and attend the City Council’s “Committee of the Whole” meeting on July 29th at 5:30 pm, in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 407 Grant Street in Wausau.
Related Thomas Street Plan Articles from the Wausau Daily Herald: