News: Neillsville (25 April 2005)

Transcriber:  Crystal Wendt

----Sources: Marshfield News Herald (Marshfield, Wood County, Wis.) Mon, Apr 25, 2005

Finally, Neillsville to get its sidewalk

By Matt Conn - - Marshfield News-Herald

NEILLSVILLE - A new sidewalk recently approved for construction in Neillsville is expected to create safer walking conditions along portions of Highway 10.

When a big event occurs at the Clark County Fairgrounds, its crowd often spills to the highway, and for years city officials have considered this a safety concern.

"It's been needed for years, but we just couldn't figure out a way to pay for it," said Neillsville Mayor Diane Murphy. "People right now, in order to get to downtown businesses for shopping, a lot are walking on the side of Highway 10, and it's very dangerous." The city's engineering firm, Stevens Point-based Earth Tech Inc., will begin surveying this week for the 2,500-foot-long sidewalk, which is expected to cost about $40,000, said Dave Flynn, director of Public Works.

Flynn said the city had applied for state grants, but the project was finally possible through a total of $25,000 in grants from the local Marguerite Listeman Foundation.

The remaining cost will come from the city's undesignated funds, Murphy said. The sidewalk will be built on the north side of the highway, past A&W Restaurant and up to Neillsville Country Club, where it will end. Another portion will begin on the south side of the street up to the fairgrounds, she said.

City officials say they hope the project will be done in time for the Clark County Fair in August.

"I think it should have been done about 10 years ago," said Veronica Becker, manager of A&W Restaurant.

Becker said she once lived across from the fairgrounds, and thought it strange that a sidewalk wasn't available for the thousands of people who walk around the area every year.

"At the fairground, it will bring people that will be walking here," she said. "Kids that can't drive, during fair time they're always walking, and walking on the side of the road is kind of dangerous." City officials must still negotiate with the state Department of Transportation to establish traffic controls. State law prohibits building a crosswalk across a state highway, an issue which will also be discussed in the meetings, Murphy said.

Matt Conn can be reached at 384-3131 or 800-967-2087, ext. 328, or at



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