MILWAUKEE – Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow today joined members of I-94 East-West Econ Connect, a coalition of Waukesha and Milwaukee County businesses, organizations and institutions working to keep Wisconsin’s economy strong, in calling on lawmakers to restore funding in the 2017-19 State Budget to keep the planned reconstruction of the I-94 East-West corridor on track.
In a news conference alongside the East-West corridor near the Menomonee Valley, Farrow said that rebuilding the severely outdated freeway – one of Wisconsin’s most important commercial arteries, the link between the newly modernized Marquette and Zoo interchanges and the key economic connector between Milwaukee and Waukesha counties – must be a priority for the state. “If Madison doesn’t enumerate the East-West rebuild in the 2017-19 budget and allocate approximately $31 million to keep the project moving forward as planned, legislators will have essentially moved this back to square one,” Farrow said. “And that would be a travesty.”
“There are nearly 200,000 jobs located within just two miles of the East-West, and companies rely on the road to transport more than $40 billion in freight every year,” he continued. “As legislators prepare to make their final budget decisions and proposals, they need to know that kicking the can down the road on the East-West is a bad idea that will hurt economic development, waste taxpayer dollars and subject motorists to many more years of orange barrels and traffic headaches. No more delays – it’s time to finish the job and make the East-West a priority.”
Farrow was joined by representatives of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), the Waukesha County Business Alliance (WCBA) and Commercial Association of REALTORS® Wisconsin (CARW). They urged the public to call the state’s Legislative Hotline at 1-800-362-9472 and tell lawmakers to put the East-West back in the state budget. If legislators do stall the East-West project, it will put federal funding and other state investments at risk, said Steve Baas, senior vice president of governmental affairs for the MMAC.
Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow joined with I-94 East-West Econ Connect members the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, the Waukesha County Business Alliance and Commercial Association REALTORS Wisconsin to urge Wisconsin lawmakers to enumerate and allocate funding for continued I-94 East-West work in the 2017-19 Wisconsin State Budget.