City Council approves opening two segments of Highway 86 to ATV, UTV traffic
More steps to be completed before routes officially open
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor
TOMAHAWK – The City of Tomahawk Common Council approved an ordinance that allows All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs) to travel on two segments of State Highway 86 at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
The ordinance, passed with a 5 to 4 vote, opens up a section of Highway 86 on the south side of Tomahawk, allowing ATVs and UTVs to enter and exit the city via the Wisconsin River bridge. The vehicles will not be allowed to travel on Highway 86 (South Tomahawk Avenue) between Mary Street and Somo Avenue.
A segment of Highway 86 on the east side of Tomahawk was also approved for ATV and UTV use. The vehicles will be able to travel on Highway 86 from School Road east to Kaphaem Road, with Highway 86 (Somo Avenue) from School Road west to South Tomahawk Avenue prohibited from ATV and UTV traffic.
ATV and UTV traffic will be allowed on 4th Street from Wisconsin Avenue to River Street, and Wisconsin Avenue from Railway Street to 7th Street.
Alderpersons Dale Ernst, Jeff Kahle, Mickey Loka, Mike Loka and Tadd Wegener voted in favor of the ordinance, with Steve “Ding” Bartz, Will Garske, Patricia E. Haskin and Ed Nystrom opposed.
Although the City Council gave the road openings the green light, they are not currently in place. The Town of Bradley will have to approve the opening of the section of Highway 86 from County Highway E east to the William Buedingen Training Center, said City of Tomahawk Director of Public Works John Cole.
“Copies of the ordinance will also need to be sent to the DOT and the DNR,” he added.
“This was a very long process to get to this point as we wanted to make sure everyone’s voice was heard, good or bad,” Cole stated. “I certainly understand both sides of the issue, with safety being in the forefront. If things do in fact go forward, it will provide access for people to areas that in the past were ‘hard or impossible to get to.’ These decisions are never easy and take much thought and full understanding from everyone involved. At the meeting, it was well-attended, and many people spoke up for and against the ordinance.”
Cole noted that once the ordinance receives final approval, the routes will be marked and opened for travel accordingly.
“This is another example where the state, county, Township of Bradley and City of Tomahawk worked together to find common ground,” Cole stated. “I know we will continue to tackle issues and problems going forward, that is what we do, but I am glad this one is behind us.”