Highway 64 Re-Route - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Highway 64 Re-Route


ANTIGO (WAOW) -- In less than a week, crews will get started on a project to re-route Highway 64 in Antigo. Currently, people traveling along highway 64 drive right through downtown. When the project is finished, they will be re-routed to the north west side of the city.

For many shop owners in downtown Antigo, business is slow.

"It's kind of empty right now, as you can see there's a lot of empty buildings downtown," Melanie Adams said.

But transportation officials want to change that. The 2.6 million dollar project will re-direct drivers traveling on Highway 64, away from downtown Antigo. They say the highway is a long truck route, and re-constructing it would bring fewer trucks and less congestion downtown. Officials say the move will also make Fifth Street safer for pedestrians, and more of a destination spot.

Trio Hair Studio owner, Melanie Adams, says she's glad the plan is to encourage growth downtown, but says moving the highway could steer people away from the already struggling area.

"I think it will slow down a little bit downtown when you don't have them coming through here. If you have a choice you'll take the quick route," Adams said.

Bob Curran is the owner of Gold Miner Jewelers. He says his store used to be located downtown, but because of the sluggish business, he picked up and moved to the north side of the city.

"We made the decision to make the move out here to see if we could increase our business", Curran says.

And he said it has. He said he hopes this relocation project will help improve downtown businesses, as well.

Melanie remains optimistic about the project, but worries shoppers will no longer pass through downtown.

 "If I didn't work down here, I probably would take the bypass, too," Adams said.

Online Reporter: Courtney Fasano

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