Monthly Archives: April 2010

More Discussion in Franklin About the Drexel Interchange

The Franklin Common Council is meeting Saturday morning to discuss the proposed Drexel interchange.

So reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Here’s hoping a funding solution is found for this worthwhile project.

And while they’re meeting, I’ll be marching in the Little League parade. Be sure to wave!

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Interchange Proposal Stalls Again … Should We Help Restart It? Or Is It a Dead End?

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.


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Other Headlines of Interest …

Here are a few headlines from the area you may be interested in …

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Celebrate Little League Baseball in South Milwaukee Saturday

The South Milwaukee Little League program is a point of pride for our community, a real treasure.

See why this Saturday with the league’s annual opening day festivities.

The day begins at noon with a parade through downtown to the Little League complex at 700 Mackinac Ave. Once you’re there, enjoy a brief ceremony, concessions, souvenirs, giveaways, raffles and, oh yeah, baseball. Games start at 1:30 p.m.

Learn more in this story at South Milwaukee NOW.

Also check out the eteamz South Milwaukee Little League page here and the Little League’s Facebook page.


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One Step Closer to a Drexel Interchange at I-94 … and That’s a Good Thing for Everybody

So, Milwaukee Ald. Bob Bauman is upset that Northwestern Mutual would dare pledge money towards construction of a freeway interchange that would benefit hundreds of workers at its expansive Franklin facility.

“Outraged” is how the headline on put it. Here’s his quote:

“So here you have a Milwaukee-based company, Northwestern Mutual Life, investing in an interchange in the suburbs which will harm their home city. If they have an extra $1.6 million laying around that they can use to fund an interchange on I-94 at Drexel Avenue, we have projects in downtown Milwaukee which could use a similar investment of $1.6 million and we’d be very, very happy to have it.”

Wow — so much for regionalism. When did this become a turf war, anyway? And how in the world does investing in this interchange “harm” Milwaukee? It doesn’t.

I argue that the proposed interchange at Drexel — which got a major boost with a funding commitment from the Oak Creek City Council Monday night — is a good project for not only Northwestern Mutual, but the whole area.

We hear all the time about the importance of improving our transportation infrastructure, especially our roads. This does it, while also making it a bit easier to live, work and play in the South Shore.

Oak Creek Mayor Dick Bolender put it best: “I feel very badly that this alderman feels that way in regards to the suburbs. I feel bad Milwaukee’s not getting things we are. But I also feel that interchange will not only benefit Oak Creek but also South Milwaukee because they use Drexel Avenue to come to the west. It’ll also benefit Franklin.”

In other words, this is a win-win. No matter what one Milwaukee alderman says.

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Scary Incident as Oak Creek Police Shoot, Kill Man After Chase

One of the crazier police chases you’ll ever see ended with Oak Creek police shooting and killing a man suspected in several burglaries.

The Journal Sentinel has the full story. From the story:

Oak Creek police officers shot and killed a 48-year-old man Monday morning after the man crashed his car into a building while leading police on a chase, then jumped into the driver’s seat of an unoccupied police SUV and struck an officer with the vehicle, police officials said.

Police identified the man Monday night as Johnny Harris of Racine.

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Preliminary Hearing Set for Man Charged in Alleged South Milwaukee Homicide

Joshua Wollinger, the man charged in the stabbing death of a South Milwaukee man on Sunday evening, had his initial court appearance on Friday.

Here are a few details that emerged courtesy of CCAP, the state’s online court access system:

  • The court found probable cause to hold Wollinger, 1011 Milwaukee Avenue #3, over for further proceedings.
  • Cash bond was set at $100,000.
  • The case was assigned to Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Kevin Martens.
  • A preliminary hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. on May 3.
  • Wollinger is indigent and will be represented by a public defender.

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