By Shereen Siewert

Scott Street in downtown Wausau has a new look today, part of a project that aims to improve driver and pedestrian safety while reducing crashes throughout the corridor.

Lane markings are now in place that reduce the number of driving lanes from three to two. The lanes, at 12 feet, are wider than the previous 10-foot-wide lanes, and a six-foot bicycle lane has been added for bike safety.

Wausau will kick in $71,429 for the $627,287 project, according to city documents, supplemented by $552,858 in federal funding.

The plan calls for adding overhead traffic signals, high visibility crosswalks with countdown pedestrian timers and improved street lighting at several intersections.

Plans for a video detection system for the intersection of Fifth and Scott Street to increase signal operation efficiency were scrapped due to cost concerns, Public Works Director Eric Lindman said.

“The (Department of Transportation) is bidding this project and bids have not yet been opened,” Lindman told Wausau Pilot & Review, in an email. “We expect work to begin July or early August.”

A transportation study showed a pattern of right angle crashes at the Fifth Street intersection, with 37 crashes in the past five years alone. Of those, 16 involved injuries.

The plan was unveiled in October during a public involvement meeting at City Hall.

Wausau Police Department Facebook photo, May 27, 2020