So, the Interstate 94 interchange at Drexel is in doubt again … and plans may not accelerate unless the state or other local governments step up with increased funding.
At first glance, that seems like a dead-end proposal.
From the story in Thursday’s Daily Reporter:
Franklin officials are seeking help from the state or other cities as they face a Saturday deadline to get $500,000 for the Drexel Avenue interchange.
Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor and members of the city’s Common Council said they want the Interstate 94 interchange built but refuse to spend local taxes on the project, which is east of the city’s border with Oak Creek. The state is requiring local governments to pay half of the project’s $12.9 million budget.
In an effort to keep negotiations between Franklin and Oak Creek open, Taylor is offering to spend $350,000 on the project if Oak Creek agrees to widen Drexel Avenue from two to four lanes. Franklin’s Common Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to keep the offer on the table and continue negotiating with Oak Creek.
Taylor called on the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to pay for the project itself, or for other local communities to help pay the remaining $500,000.
“If the city of South Milwaukee or others are going to benefit from this,” Taylor said, “there is room for them to contribute.”
But should we? I’d be interested to know what my readers think on this.
The benefits to South Milwaukee would be real, as a Drexel interchange at I-94 provides another freeway access point for existing residents and businesses … and, more importantly, residents and businesses looking to move here.
How much is that worth? It’s hard to tell for certain, but there is a value there.
I campaigned for alderman on a simple slogan: “Let’s invest in our city, not just spend.”
Is this an investment worthy of consideration for South Milwaukee? Post your comments below.