Sunday, December 14, 2008

Northern Wisconsin Legislators Could See Stimulus Money Wastefully Buried Into I-94 Instead

Northern Wisconsin officials who hope to see federal stimulus dollars headed their way should look out for one huge diversion of that goal: The I-94 widening and 'improvement' south to Illinois from Milwaukee that could eat up a billion dollars or more of a $2 billion project.

The project includes an unneeded extra lane in both directions (70 miles of new concrete) at a cost of $200 million - - an expenditure opposed by the City of Milwaukee - - but pushed forward by state transportation planners regardless.

Stimulus money should go into projects that are better for the environment (adding greenhouse gases and inducing more driving is hardly a 'green' use of federal dollars in the post-Bush era) and that offer more sustainable, long-term jobs, including rail construction.

Antiquated, short-term fixes along I-94 won't help that region, or Northern Wisconsin, either.

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