Support for Drexel interchange

June 2, 2010

By Jeff Plale, 7th District State Senator

In the past few columns, I covered topics relating to local job creation and economic recovery. This month, I’d like to share the latest news on the construction of an interchange at Drexel Avenue, a development projected to bring billions of dollars in investment to southeastern Wisconsin.

For the past four years, I have worked with Representatives Mark Honadel and Jeff Stone, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), and the cities of Oak Creek and Franklin to move forward on a plan for an interchange at Drexel Avenue.

The southern parts of Milwaukee County have seen dramatic expansion over the last few years, and with that expansion comes the opportunity for important economic growth. Traffic congestion and inadequate transportation infrastructure, however, remain a critical concern and are hindering commercial development. The addition of an interchange on Interstate 94 at Drexel Avenue will facilitate business growth and economic development-even more important now than when we began exploring the idea of an interchange four years ago. Not only are the possibilities for new business exciting, but such an investment will also breathe new life into existing spaces such as the now-vacant Delphi plant.

Typically, DOT provides half of the funding for interchanges in Wisconsin and requires that local governments come together to provide the remaining money to finance a project. In late April and on May 1, just shy of DOT’s deadline, Oak Creek and Franklin respectively committed to the funding necessary to move forward. Northwestern Mutual has also offered to contribute $1.6 million of its own money toward the local governments’ part of the funding because the new interchange will so greatly improve access to their Franklin campus. In addition to the interchange, Oak Creek and Franklin will benefit locally from improvements to 27th Street included in the proposal.

Delaying construction further would have increased the project’s overall cost and pushed it further out of our reach. I am pleased that state and local governments worked collaboratively to meet such important, shared goals. The economic results will positively impact southeastern Wisconsin as a whole.

Jeff Plale is the state senator for Wisconsin’s Seventh Senate District, which spans from Milwaukee’s East Side to Oak Creek, including downtown, the Third Ward, Bay View, St. Francis, Cudahy, and South Milwaukee. He can be reached locally at (414) 744-1444 or in Madison at (800) 361-5487 or sen.plale@legis.wisconsin.gov.

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Comments

One Comment on "Support for Drexel interchange"

  1. Max on Thu, 3rd Jun 2010 2:31 pm 

    I so hope Larson makes a run against you. Clearly it’s time for some new blood and fresh ideas at the State level.

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