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Highway 55 could become a Scenic Byway corridor

Wisconsin Scenic Byway logo  Image: Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation
Wisconsin Scenic Byway logo Image: Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation

MOLE LAKE, Wis. (WXPR) -- State Highway 55 could become the state's fifth Scenic Byway corridor. A meeting Wednesday in Mole Lake will enable the public to see what is in the works.

The program is administered by the Department of Transportation. Highways with historic and scenic corridors are considered. If adopted, the stretch of Highway 55 north from Menominee county through Forest county to the Michigan line would be known as the the Wolf River­ Nicolet Scenic Byway.

R.T. Krueger is President of the Forest County Economic Development Partnership. He says the road has many natural features, including the national forest and the Wolf River, along with many historical points.  "A section of highway that follows centuries ­old trade route used by Native Americans. It was then used as a route between Fort Howard in Green Bay and Fort Wilkins in the U.P. It was the road that opened up our neck of the woods to settlement. It was the main vein everything else grew off of."

He says while the effort began about a decade ago, but within the last 18 months the effort has made progress. He says the key will be for local communities along Highway 55 to add in value along the route. He says the supporters need to develop a management plan.  "One of the villages that wants to do a signage project. Bicycle enthusiasts who want to improve a trail head. It might be a local DU chapter that wants to work on a project along their section. Then we put that together into the Corridor Management Plan."

He says that's where they are now. Wednesday from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Mole Lake Conference Center there's a meeting with DOT officials and others. Anyone interested from a government entity or the public can find out more information. There is no charge.

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