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Highway 23 Court Decision Surprises Local Politicians

Local politicians say a federal court decision halting federal funding for the Highway 23 expansion project between Plymouth and Fond du Lac came as quite the surprise. Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation President Steve Jenkins says expanding the highway to four lanes isn’t just about commerce and economic development potential. He says it’s also a safety issue. He says there has been too much loss of life and accidents on the road. State Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt hopes the state can get the project moving forward again. He says it’s difficult when a project is about 75 percent federally funded, but he’s talking with the state’s Department of Transportation to see what steps can be taken. Federal Judge Lynn Adelman upheld some of the arguments made in the lawsuit brought by 1000 Friends of Wisconsin including inaccurate estimates on potential traffic count.

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A federal court decision that halted federal funding for the Highway 23 expansion project between Plymouth and Fond du Lac stunned local officials. Judge Lynn Adelman’s decision came just as the Memorial Day weekend was starting. Fond du Lac County Executive Al Buechel says it’s a huge waste of taxpayer money. He says right-of-way has already been purchased for the project, the design is complete for most of the project, and contractors were ready to start. State Senator Rick Gudex says the decision has made now it’s time to turn things around and get the project going again. He says they need to help the state’s Department of Transportation get the ball rolling again on the project. A 7.5 mile stretch of the project in Sheboygan County was supposed to start Tuesday.