Thiesfeldt Addresses Advancement of Highway 23 Expansion Project
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced their
plans to move forward with the Highway 23 expansion project between
counties. The ability was granted by a signed Limited Scope Supplemental
Environmental Impact Statement – but also by a Record of Decision.
Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt tells us that Record of Decision helps the DOT
get past the freeze placed on the project by Judge Lynn Adelman.
He explains that “because there is federal money involved in this, you have to
clear that hurdle of getting the Record of Decision taken care of. Otherwise
the federal money is not available. So then the option always existed to simply
proceed with only state dollars, but moving the project forward with strictly state
money would violate his freeze that he put on the project.”
Thiesfeldt adds that there are now “150 days where a group such as the 1000 Friends of Wisconsin could still attempt to block this with legal action. Now simply just filing legal action I don’t think would accomplish that – it would have to go before a judge I would assume and that judge would have to put a hold on the project once again.”
1000 Friends of Wisconsin is the environmental group that sued to block the initial project in 2014-2015.
Thiesfeldt thinks most issues raised by the group have been addressed, and “at this point we have not heard anything from the 1000 Friends of Wisconsin and I would just respectfully ask them to refrain from slowing this important project down any further and let it move forward.”
If there are no further legal
complications, the project would begin in
next summer. It is expected to wrap up on the