Development of the Elcho Highway 45 Bicycle & Pedestrian Trail
FOR THE ANTIGO TIMES
Elcho Area Health Planning, Inc. is developing the Elcho Highway 45 Bicycle & Pedestrian Trail with a working relationship with the Town of Elcho, Langlade Co., WI.
The Elcho US Highway 45 Bicycle & Pedestrian Trail is meant to provide a safe, non-motorized trail during the spring, summer and fall seasons between County Highway B south of Elcho and County Highway G north of Elcho. The trail will be on the east side of Highway 45. South of Elcho the trail will run on the old railroad grade which is utilized as a snowmobile trail in the winter and this segment will be crushed gravel or limestone. Through Elcho, the trail will follow Elmo Street, to Alley Street, to Highway 45 and Enterprise Lake Road. From Enterprise Lake Road north there will be a bike lane on Highway 45 and a sidewalk on the east side of Highway 45 for pedestrians to the north end of town. Proceeding on the east side of Highway 45, we are planning on going north with a 10-foot-wide asphalt multiuse trail for bicycles and pedestrians.
Some of the benefits of the trail include safe passage off Highway 45 for students, residents and visitors going to school, grocery stores, churches, banks and restaurants. It will also provide a non-motorized trail to the Otter Lake Wayside. This trail will allow passage from Antigo to Rhinelander and Crandon for people to avoid Highway 45. The Elcho Silent Sports Club can use the trail for safe passage for biking and hiking. The trail will also encourage a healthy lifestyle of hiking and biking to places in Elcho rather than using motorized transportation. It will also be a safe path for people walking their pets.
The trail consists of 3 sections. Once funding is secured for the first section – from Enterprise Lake Road to Parkway Lane north of Otter Lake – we will develop the second section which goes south of Elcho on the old railroad grade. Total cost estimate for the first section, including design and construction costs, is around $700,000.
Through the Town of Elcho, a Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) Grant was applied for and approved by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). This will cover about 80% of the cost. Elcho Area Health Planning, Inc. will pay for the rest of the cost which will be around $175,000. As of September 2022, $88,000 has been committed. Donations are also being requested.
Elcho Area Health Planning, Inc. was formed in 1978 due to concern of inadequate health and medical facilities in Elcho. It received two Rural Health Initiative grants to help a clinic establish in Elcho. Over the years Elcho Area Health Planning, Inc. has sponsored health education events, summer recreation and senior exercise programs, a scholarship program for Elcho graduates, Cooperative Playtime, bringing streetlights back into the town of Elcho, and other activities through the years.
Any questions regarding the Elcho US Highway 45 Bicycle & Pedestrian Trail can be directed to:
Charles F. Wetzel, D.D.S., Land line: 715-275-3068, Email: [email protected]
Donations, comments and questions can be sent to:
Elcho Area Health Planning, Inc., P.O. Box 354, Elcho WI 54428