Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
June 2006
City of Hurley Becomes Pilot for Comprehensive Community Development Grant

The City of Hurley, long plagued by unsightly buildings, deteriorating streets and sidewalks, a scarcity of public parking and a lack of shopping opportunities, will soon have an entirely new look.

The Division of Housing and Community Development along with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Rural Development are embarking on an extensive comprehensive revitalization effort in the City of Hurley that could result in $13 million of combined state and federal funding over the next five years. Commerce has committed up to $2 million in a pilot Comprehensive Development Grant for Hurley's downtown.

In furtherance of this goal, Hurley is in the process of creating a Business Improvement District (BID) in the downtown and is considering applying for admission to the Wisconsin Main Street Program.

The Comprehensive Development Project for Hurley is planned for two phases. Phase I involves the reconstruction of sanitary sewer lines and water mains as DOT reconstructs Hurley's main thoroughfare (Silver Street/State Highway 77). Water services, hydrant leads and fire hydrants will be replaced throughout the six-block project area. Storm sewers will be replaced and storm leads will be extended to each property. Roof drains currently connected to the sanitary sewer system will be reconnected to the storm sewer. The replacement of sanitary sewer laterals and water services and extension of storm leads to each building will necessitate the removal and replacement of the entire street surface, curb, gutter and sidewalk. Completion detail at the east end of the project area will feature a small plaza which will serve as an attractive gateway to the downtown.

State Highway 77 carries significant traffic load, including heavy truck traffic (mostly logging trucks). In order to lessen wear and tear on Silver Street, local officials are exploring the possibility of extending a county highway to create a bypass around the downtown. County Highway D currently extends south from U.S. Highway 2 to Division Street in Hurley. Extending Highway D about a mile south to connect with State Highway 77 would create this viable bypass, especially for the truck traffic.

The extension of Highway D offers other local benefits as well. The connection would improve access to the city's industrial park, which is adjacent to the highway corridor, making it more attractive to new businesses. It would also improve the development potential of approximately 250 acres of land for housing, commercial or mixed use development.

Finally, an extension of County D would provide a second access point to the school. A few years back, efforts to fight a fire at the school were complicated by the fact that fire trucks and school buses were forced to share the only road into the school grounds.

The combined impact of these two activities should make Hurley's downtown a much more attractive place to visit, a desirable outcome since Hurley's economy depends greatly on tourists.

-- Caryn Stone

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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