Ald. Bauman introduces resolution directing the City to lobby against I-94 reconstruction
4th District Alderman Robert J. Bauman has introduced a resolution (file #201313) that would direct the Department of Administration-Intergovernmental Relations Division to lobby the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to deny the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) request for a new Record of Decision relating to reconstruction and modernization of Interstate 94 between 16th Street and 70th Street. Governor Tony Evers previously announced in July 2020 that he would be seeking federal approval for the rebuilding of I-94 along the 3.5 mile stretch. If approved by the FHWA, a new Record of Decision would greenlight the project, which is expected to cost more than $1 billion.
“The State of Wisconsin’s transportation spending priorities are completely out of balance, and the necessity of this project is questionable at best,” said Alderman Bauman. “Additionally, the transparency being shown by the WisDOT is appalling. They are asking the FHWA to approve the project by relying on the background traffic and environmental-impact studies that were conducted nearly 5 years ago. Those items are out-of-date and no longer relevant to a current analysis of the project.”
Since 2016 when the initial background work was conducted, travel volumes, commuting patterns, employment levels, economic activity and land uses in the Interstate 94 corridor have all changed significantly. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) found that American households made fewer commuting trips than at any time since 1990. In October 2020, USDOT reported that travel on all roads and streets was down 8.8% nationally (and 10.4% in the North Central region) from the year prior. The consulting firm KPMG forecasts that vehicle miles traveled will settle at about 90% of pre-2020 levels in coming years.
“When you consider all of this information, it adds up to a project that is being handled poorly, and in the end will only harm the residents who aren’t properly involved in the process,” said Alderman Bauman.
The file will be heard at an upcoming meeting of the Common Council’s Judiciary and Legislation Committee.
- 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
- Op Ed: We Oppose I-94 Expansion - Cassie Steiner, Gregg May, Megan Severson, Lester Williams and Cheryl Nenn - Nov 18th, 2020
- Op Ed: Don’t Expand I-94 - James Davies - Jul 18th, 2020
Read more about I-94 East-West Expansion here
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