FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2017
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
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NEW RADIO AD URGES LEGISLATORS TO FINISH THE JOB, SPEND WISELY AND KEEP I-94 EAST-WEST RECONSTRUCTION ON TRACK
Ad highlights freeway’s importance to jobs and commerce; says it doesn’t make economic sense
for state to spend billions on Marquette and Zoo interchanges and ignore road linking the two
MILWAUKEE – I-94 East-West Econ Connect – a coalition of Waukesha and Milwaukee County business, organizations and institutions working to keep Wisconsin’s economy strong – today launched a radio campaign urging lawmakers to include funding in the 2017-19 State Budget to keep the planned reconstruction of the I-94 East-West corridor on track.
Reconstruction of the badly outdated 3.5-mile stretch of freeway – which links the Marquette and Zoo interchanges and is an important economic connector between Milwaukee and Waukesha counties – had been planned to start in 2020. Approximately $31 million needed to continue engineering and planning work for the project was unexpectedly dropped from the State budget earlier this year.
Unless legislators restore that funding and enumerate the project in the upcoming budget, the East-West rebuild will be delayed two years or more. That means:
Project costs would skyrocket due to inflation;
The state would waste roughly $20 million it has as already invested in planning, environmental study and early engineering work that would need to be redone if the effort is stalled;
The road would need a highly disruptive, $60 million-plus “Band-Aid” resurfacing in 2020 that would add costs and traffic hassles while doing nothing to solve safety and other long-term problems with its outdated design;
Maximum benefits of the newly modernized Marquette and Zoo interchanges – a $2 billion investment by the state – would continue to be unrealized if the road linking the two is not updated; and
The state could possibly be risking losing federal support and funding for the project.
The radio ads, which are also sponsored by Wisconsin Infrastructure Investment Now, end with a call to listeners to tell state legislators to finish the job on the region’s freeway system, and put the East-West back in the state budget.
You can hear the radio spot here, and a script follows:
I-94 East-West Econ Connect Ad Script
Word is lawmakers might slam the brakes on the East-West Freeway.
That’s bad news for Waukesha and Milwaukee. The East-West is key to jobs and our local economy – but it’s outdated and needs to be rebuilt. Madison is on the verge of stalling this critical fix by leaving the East-West out of the budget. That means more costs, more traffic and more crashes.
Talk about a costly mistake. The state’s already spent millions to find the right solution and billions on the Marquette and Zoo projects. It doesn’t make sense to delay fixing the bottleneck linking the two.
It will waste money, hurt economic growth – and create more headaches for drivers.
Call 1-800-362-9472 and tell lawmakers to finish the job. Put the East-West back in the state budget.
Call 1-800-362-9472. No more delays on the East-West.
Brought to you by I-94 East-West Econ Connect and Wisconsin Infrastructure Investment Now.
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