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 Those items are out-of-date and no longer relevant to a current analysis of the project.”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: Expanded I-94 Will Damage Pigsville - Leland Pan - Jan 10th, 2022
- Transportation: Interstate 94 Project Cost Much Higher Than Original Estimate - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 10th, 2021
- Transportation: Public Input Sought on Controversial Interstate 94 Expansion - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 3rd, 2021
- Op Ed: Did I-94 End Milwaukee’s Population Growth? - David Jasenski - Sep 22nd, 2021
- Transportation: Plan Offers Alternative To Expanded I-94 - Jeramey Jannene - Sep 14th, 2021
- Statement from Mayor Barrett on the New Impact Review for the I-94 Project - Mayor Tom Barrett - Apr 15th, 2021
- Advocates applaud opportunity for public input on I-94 East-West project, but new environmental review process still needed - Press Release - Apr 15th, 2021
- Transportation: State Delaying Interstate 94 Expansion For New Study - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 15th, 2021
- 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
Read more about I-94 East-West Expansion here
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