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Highway 54 bypass project not among state grant awards

4:15 PM, Sep. 17, 2013  |  Comments
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A decades-old effort to build a Highway 54 bypass in south Wood County was not among the seven projects to garner federal funding as part of Wisconsin's Surface Transportation Program-Freight, Gov. Scott Walker announced today.

The city of Milwaukee received three grants for the design and reconstruction of highways 41 and 32 and West North Avenue, according to a state Department of Transportation news release. Chippewa and La Crosse counties and the city of Baraboo also received funding for the design and reconstruction of highways T and 16 as well as South Boulevard, respectively.

In June, Wood County applied for the funding on behalf of Wisconsin Rapids to construct a Highway 54 bypass around the east side of the city from Highway W to Highway Z. A subsequent phase would involve constructing a bridge across the Wisconsin River to Port Edwards.

Supporters have said a bypass would alleviate heavy traffic congestion on Eighth Street South in Wisconsin Rapids, and the improved infrastructure could help stimulate development in south Wood County.

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