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Maple School Board: Highway light project will move forward

Installation of flashing lights along U.S. Highway 2 could increase safety, officials said.

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MAPLE — The Maple School Board received an update on the installation of flashing lights to create a safer bus route and set a minimum bid price for the house Northwestern High School students built at its Monday, March 21, meeting.

Transportation director calls the afternoon route, which involves 15 buses turning left across U.S. Highway 2 , an accident waiting to happen.

The district has been wrestling with safety concerns over bus traffic pulling onto U.S. Highway 2 from Wiehe Road since the fall. About 15 buses turn left onto the highway from Wiehe Road daily, crossing the westbound lane of traffic on their way to Northwestern High School.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation installed caution signs advising motorists to slow to 45 mph as they pass Northwestern elementary and middle schools in September, but school officials felt more was needed.

An ad hoc committee, consisting of representatives from the town of Maple, village of Poplar, school board and DOT determined the solution would be to install solar-powered flashing yellow lights on each side of the schools to slow traffic down. The lights would be timed to flash only during morning and afternoon bus routes.

To help offset the approximately $8,600 cost for the lights and installation, the district sent a letter to every town and village in the district, asking for $600 from each.

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The towns of Highland, Maple, Poplar, Amnicon and Iron River have all agreed to pitch in, according to District Administrator Sara Croney. Lake Nebagamon, Brule and Cloverland declined. A number of municipalities remain undecided, including the towns of Hughes, Lakeside and Hawthorne.

The school district will cover costs not picked up by municipalities.

“We have to install the lights to try to make it safer irregardless,” Croney said.

Flashing beacons along U.S. Highway 2 near Northwestern Elementary, Middle schools are being considered

Officials plan to order the lights, and installation will take place in the spring or summer.

In other business, the board discussed sending out an ad for bids on the building construction class' house. Every year, Northwestern High School technical education students build a home and sell it. Last year’s home sold for $60,000.

“We set the minimum bid for this year’s house at $53,000,” Croney said.

The board also:

  • Renewed sports cooperative agreements for girls hockey, boys swim and dive, and girls gymnastics with Superior and boys hockey with Washburn, Ashland and Hurley.
  • Gave the Visual Arts Classic Team approval to attend state competition in Madison if they qualify during regional competition Friday, March 25.
  • Approved summer school offerings that included partnerships with the Superior Douglas County YMCA and a CNA class.

The full meeting is available to view on the district’s YouTube channel .

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This story originally listed the wrong sport in the list of co-op agreements. It was republished at 8:38 a.m. March 24, 2022, with the correct sport. The Superior Telegram regrets the error.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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