Wausau city leaders: Thomas Street project doesn't need re-appro - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau city leaders: Thomas Street project doesn't need re-approval


People living along a busy Wausau street may finally have some answers about a road-widening project. Plans for Thomas Street have been in the works for several years.

Now, council members say the voting is done. But some members say they want to take a second look.

Thomas Street sees a lot of traffic, and right now it has just two lanes. For years, city leaders have wanted to make it wider and more efficient.

"The road is in terrible shape and something needs to be done," Wausau City Council President Lisa Rasmussen said.

A five-lane plan was approved back in 2008. But the project hit a snag when the city found out it wouldn't receive federal funding.

Last week, a street maintenance committee re-approved the original plan and now it's moving forward once again.

"We are finally getting to a point in the change of decisions where some closure and some finality can be brought to all of the controversy surrounding Thomas Street," Rasmussen told Newsline 9.

Wausau's city engineer says the five-lane plan does not need to be re-approved by the city council. He says because it was not altered the original council vote stands. Rasmussen says it's the right move.

"That does give the residents some clear direction as far as what is happening and what they can expect, which is something they've waited a really long time for," Rasmussen added.

While other council members want to give residents some closure, they say re-evaluating the plan wouldn't be such a bad thing.

"If this takes a little bit longer, it's also forty years beyond this that we have to look at what it's going to do to the community," Wausau City Council Member David Oberbeck said.

City leaders say as properties along Thomas Street are acquired, each would have to be approved by the city council. They say they hope to have the project complete by 2017.

The project was going to be funded by federal money and tax dollars. But since that federal money fell through, city leaders say savings in other areas will be applied to the project.

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