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Lawe St. reconstruction faces questions, concerns from City Park Historic District neighbors

Posted at 10:24 PM, Mar 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-18 23:24:51-04

APPLETON (NBC 26) — City Park Historic District homeowners voiced their opinions about a proposal that would repair Lawe St.

  • Appleton DPW has proposed a plan to reconstruct Lawe St. after years of heavy usage
  • Neighbors are concerned about bike riders, trees along the route

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story, with additional details for the web)

Ann Mortier lives along Lawe St. and says everything changed after it was designated as a “truck route.”

“When they’re going in residential neighborhoods, they’re going past grade schools, they’re going past the municipal Appleton swimming pool. It’s dangerous. It’s just dangerous.”

Per Mortier, the designation was set to accommodate paper manufacturer Appvion and its warehouse facility, which is also located on Lawe St.

Lawe St. sees over 7600 vehicles a day including the trucks, according to the Appleton DPW. But the road, which is more than 50 years old, now requires repairs.

Appleton Department of Public Works Director Danielle Block says it’s not an easy fix.

“There’s no easy solution on the project, and as we make each one of these design decisions, we are trying to incorporate quality of life as much as we can in this project for all users of the roadway.”

Appleton community members were quick to question aspects of the project, including the unprotected bike lanes and the possibility of young trees being torn down, among other issues.

I attempted to speak with Ayers representatives about these matters further, but they declined to speak with me outside of the presentation.

But for residents like Mortier, no matter how many meetings they attend, they feel left behind in the decision-making process.

“I’m not sure they have heard…or listened…or care.”

Should the proposal be approved and pushed forward, Appleton DPW estimates that the project will be complete by 2026.