County Executive Comments on Highway 23 Expansion Project
The DOT continues to work on getting approval to begin construction on a Highway 23 expansion project. They will soon publish their completed limited scope environmental impact statement – which is part of the issue that blocked the start of construction in 2015.
County Executive Allen Buechel tells us if a judge approves the new information and another lawsuit from 1000 Friends of Wisconsin is avoided, the DOT could get things rolling very quickly. He says “the DOT actually has enough money in the budget, that was put in by the legislature – $19.4 million to actually start the project up again on the Plymouth end. And the reason it’s going to start in Plymouth is because not enough work was done from the standpoint of right-of-way acquisition and utility movement and all of that.”
Buechel adds that companies on both ends of the highway will detour their employees to avoid having them drive on Highway 23. He points out that “they’re concerned from the standpoint of moving their goods, along with certain businesses on the
Buechel says the safety is a major concern, and that it would pass easily if the people could vote on it. He argues that “we can talk about the death toll isn’t as extreme when it’s compared to other highways across the state, but good God, this needs to be done. The people support it. If we put it out to referendum the east side of the county would see a near unanimous vote in support of this. And the state is willing to fund it, as well as the federal government. To me, there’s no reason not to move forward with this as soon as possible.”
The DOT is still accepting comments online and in writing about the project up until the end of July