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Thomas Street project will move forward without federal funding

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Thomas Street in Wausau, WI
Thomas Street in Wausau, WI

WAUSAU, Wis (WSAU) Even though the project won't be eligible for federal funding, a Wausau committee voted to move forward with widening Thomas Street to four lanes. The city will have to cover all of the costs for the project.

The street maintenance and capital improvements committee said it can offset some of the costs by applying for federal dollars for other road projects, and then shifting those savings to Thomas Street. The Feds pulled block-grant funding because Wausau didn't follow the rules. People whose land was bought up weren't told they could appeal the purchase price and could get extra money to help them relocate.

The city still needs to acquire more land for the project. Construction wouldn't begin until 2015.

The committee turned down two less-expensive options. One was a three-lane road with additional turning lanes. The other was to widen only parts of Thomas Street, leaving the rest as a two-lane street. The committee's four-lane decision still needs city council approval.

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