Monday, April 5, 2010

So. Is the gov lying or just getting really, really old?

Gov. Doyle says the decision to reconstruct North-South I-94 was made before he took office. That’s not true. Evidence of that was presented in a previous post. And now there is more.

From a Jan. 2004 (that’s a full year after Doyle took office) Wisconsin Department of Transportation memo:

WisDOT has created a multi-division team to analyze the SEWRPC (Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission) recommendations and develop a 30-year implementation plan. The review will address key issues:

  • Timing of critical pavement and bridge needs and the probable need for continued rehabilitation, even prior to and during reconstruction;
  • Priority staging for corridors and interchanges, and the resulting timetable and costs for planning and environmental studies for each corridor; (Emphasis added)

So there you have it. Doyle did not tell the truth. WisDOT, which makes the actual decisions in issues like this, was still weighing the issue of timing a full year after Doyle took office.

For shame, Mr. Doyle.

Oopsie daisy: More bull from Busalacchi

Caught again.

Despite Secretary Frank Busalacchi’s denial, politics did indeed play a role in putting the I-94 North-South reconstruction and silly expansion project ahead of Zoo Interchange reconstruction.

From a May, 2004 internal WisDOT memo:

There are two key decisions that must be made shortly. First, the proposed corridor prioritization must be approved or amended. Staff selected these three corridors based on a number of factors. They first reviewed analysis of safety, pavement condition, design deficiencies, and congestion. Staff also included preliminary work already conducted as part of their analysis; as a result, the priority of IH 94 from the Illinois state line to the Mitchell Interchange was elevated. Finally, staff considered the political and physical ease with which a corridor could be reconstructed; this lowered both the IH 94 corridor from the Marquette Interchange to STH 16 and the IH 43 corridor from the Mitchell Interchange to Silver Spring Drive. WisDOT staff requires, therefore, the Secretary’s and the Governor’s approval of these three corridors as the first to be reconstructed. (Emphasis added)

This is the second time the Doyle dudes were caught in a whopper about the Zoo / I-94 decision. Why should we believe anything they say about freeway reconstruction?

The memo is titled “First Crack at Shorter Memo to Secretary.” It was obtained many moons ago by Citizens Allied for Sane Highways, which I-co-chair.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Frank, Frank, Frank. Jim, Jim, Jim. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Heavens, guys. If you are going to try to BS your way through a controversy, don’t leave public records in your wake.

Gov. Jim Doyle and his major embarrassment, WisDOT Secretary Frank Busalacchi, are acting like the decision to reconstruct and unnecessarily expand North-South I-94 before reconstructing the Zoo Interchange was made before Doyle ever set foot in the governor’s mansion.

That’s total crap.

In February 2004, a good year after Gov. Jim Doyle took office, his Wisconsin Department of Transportation set priorities for freeway reconstruction. First came I-94 from the state line to the Mitchell Interchange, then came the Zoo Interchange to Richfield, then came I-94 from State Highway 16 to the Marquette Interchange.

These three projects were in “Bucket A.”

Said the WisDOT spreadsheet:

“Bucket A will be the first group of Corridors to be started depending on funding approval and resources available. The order or priorities within Bucket A is the order in which they are listed. This order has been chosen based on the Freeway Implementation Team’s recommended strategy to prioritize, SEWRPC’s recommendation, District 2 Leadership Council’s recommendation, and District 2 SE Freeway Team’s recommendation, which is based on additional research done in District 2…”

Another spreadsheet indicates that SEWRPC made its recommendations in July 2002 and WisDOT weighed in in January 2004. Doyle took office in 2003. Citizens Allied for Sane Highways, which I co-chair, obtained these records in 2005.