The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will once again seek federal approval to overhaul a stretch of Interstate 94 west of downtown Milwaukee after the department had effectively dropped the project in 2017. This is a project that CARW members along with a coalition of business groups and employers, had helped champion.
“It would cost about half a billion dollars to rebuild the corridor in its current form and the end product would be nearly as congested and dangerous as before,” WisDOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said in a statement. “With the Marquette Interchange complete and the Zoo Interchange nearly completed, the East-West corridor would just become a bottleneck between them.”
State officials say rebuilding I-94 could ultimately create between 6,000 and 10,000 jobs and would save lives. The stretch of the interstate has a crash rate that’s two-and-a-half times the statewide average, according to WisDOT.
This is the second time state officials will be seeking an essential environmental review for the nearly $1 billion project. The first review was rescinded in 2017 when lawmakers said they wouldn’t include additional money for the project in the state budget.
Former Gov. Walker ultimately asked the Federal Highway Administration to pull support for the project after the agency warned it would withdraw its approval because of the state budget’s lack of funding for the project and the threat of a lawsuit over the proposed expansion.
Full Story on Journal Sentinel- HERE
CARW’s Full Statement of Support – HERE