Thursday, December 4, 2014

Lack of support for some big WI highway projects led to cancellations...

So will the opposition to and disagreement about WisDOT's planned, massively-expensive double-decking expansion of I-94 near Story Hill and Miller Park lead to major changes or outright termination of the project's devastating impacts?

Will there be one stick-it-to-Milwaukee standard, and another that respects local concerns elsewhere, as was seen in these project cancellations announced by the state Transportation Projects Commission on a WisDOT website recently:
Also Monday, the TPC:
  • Cancelled the WIS 81/WIS 213 Beloit Bypass study project in Rock County. Both the Illinois and Wisconsin DOT’s recommended cancellation of the study due to a lack of local support. The cost-to-complete estimate is $9.3 million.
  • Cancelled the WIS 38 (County K to Oakwood Road) Major Highway Project in Milwaukee and Racine counties. WisDOT has suspended work on the project due largely to a lack of local consensus on a preferred alignment. The cost-to-complete estimate is $124 million.
  • Removed the US 14 Viroqua to Westby Major Highway Project in Vernon County from the Major Highway Program because the project is considered complete. In 2011, construction was completed on a four-lane highway between the communities. The original project scope also called for two-lane bypasses of Viroqua and Westby, however recent traffic projections show that construction of the bypasses is not needed at this time. The cost-to-complete estimate is $42.4 million.
Major Highway Project candidates undergo an extensive, statutorily-set evaluation that considers a project’s potential to enhance economic development, relieve traffic congestion, improve safety and achieve community objectives while minimizing environmental impacts. To move forward, candidate projects must undergo an environmental review process. State law prohibits the TPC from recommending major highway projects unless funding is sufficient to begin construction within six years.

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