Freeway Expansion Opponents To Meet With Biden Administration
Biden and Buttigieg might be more willing than Evers to halt project.
While Democratic Governor Tony Evers‘ administration is pushing full-speed ahead on widening Interstate 94 in Milwaukee, Democratic President Joe Biden‘s administration is signaling it might go in another direction.
Opponents of the expansion, which would add a lane in each direction from N. 16th St. to N. 70th St., are pushing for a new environmental study that would allow consideration of other options.
In a March 16th letter to Buttigieg, a group of faith leaders, civil rights organizations, environmental groups, and public interest advocates are asking for the review process to be restarted. They want to see the highway repaired, but funds for expansion redirected towards mass transit.
They’ll get to make their case on Friday. The group will meet with Stephanie Pollack, acting FHWA administrator.
“Among other procedural and substantive shortcomings, the initial [environmental impact statement] failed to conduct a meaningful, legally required environmental justice analysis, and used outdated traffic projections from 2009 that no longer reflect current commuting behavior,” wrote the 30 co-signers.
They argue investing in the highway over mass transit will disproportionately harm Milwaukeeans of color, that the expansion is a waste of public resources and will increase global warming emissions and that other alternatives are available to aid a recovery from COVID-19. The pandemic and resulting changes in workforce, they argue, could also negate the need for the expansion in the first place.
“Milwaukeeans – and all Americans – deserve a transportation system that works for everyone in their community; that challenges rather than exacerbates long standing racial inequities; and that cuts rather than increases greenhouse gas emissions,” they wrote.
A new study would require a new analysis of alternatives.
On behalf of MICAH and the Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin, Grezinski filed a successful suit that required the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to contribute $13.5 million to mass transit as part of the $1.7 billion Zoo Interchange project, located just west of today’s widening project.
A copy of the letter sent to Buttigieg is available on Urban Milwaukee.
- Transportation: Freeway Expansion Opponents To Meet With Biden Administration - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 8th, 2021
- Op Ed: Evers Is Wrong on I-94 Expansion - John Norquist - Mar 16th, 2021
- Op Ed: Rebuild I-94 in Milwaukee - John Raines, John Schmitt, Terry McGowan and Tony Mayrhofer - Feb 20th, 2021
- Coalition Opposes I-94 Expansion Project - Coalition for More Responsible Transportation - Feb 17th, 2021
- Construction Business Group Supports Governor Evers’ State Budget Proposal - Construction Business Group - Feb 17th, 2021
- Labor Leaders Voice Support For The I-94 East-West Corridor Project - Press Release - Feb 16th, 2021
- Transportation: Council Disagrees on I-94 Expansion - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 9th, 2021
- Transportation: City Pushing Back On Interstate 94 Expansion, Not Reconstruction - Jeramey Jannene - Feb 1st, 2021
- Ald. Bauman introduces resolution directing the City to lobby against I-94 reconstruction - Ald. Bob Bauman - Jan 21st, 2021
- Transportation: Interstate 94 Expansion Gets Cold Reception at City Hall - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 7th, 2021
Read more about I-94 East-West Expansion here