Monday, June 22, 2009

Zoo Interchange public hearings this week

Public hearings on the Zoo Interchange reconstruction project will be held Tuesday and Wednesday at State Fair Park.

We use the term "public hearing" very loosely, because the Wisconsin Department of Transportation does not allow members of the public to listen to what other members of the public have to say. Hearing participants must give their testimony to a court reporter, in private. Yes, it can be intimidating. That is the point.

Anyway, the hearings will be from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday (June 23) and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Wednesday, June 24). Both will be conducted at the Tommy Thompson Youth Center at State Fair Park Gate #5, 640 S. 84th Street in West Allis.

This is a good opportunity to weigh in against WisDOT's over-the-top plans for the interchange. The agency is putting the price tag of the project, with lane expanion, at $2.3 billion, which is so deceptively low it is almost laughable. The project will require huge expenditures by utility companies to move their infrastructure, adding significantly to the cost of the project. Not all of those costs show up in WisDOT project estimates, though, because they will be borne by utility ratepayers and not through the transportation fund.

In addition, WisDOT's plans will have a domino effect, if implemented -- WisDOT does A, which will require local municipalities to reconstruct B, C and D. Again, because those costs are local, WisDOT doesn't count them when totaling up Zoo Interchange costs.

1 comment:

Michael J said...

DOT-Please think what you about to do? We need to save the Monarch Trail habitat not destroy. The preliminary Environmental Impact Statement for the Zoo interchanges says part of the Monarch habitat on the County Grounds would be destroyed as part of the zoo Interchange project...