Supplemental environmental impact statement will allow more study, public input
Release date: April 15, 2021
To ensure that decisions about reconstructing the nearly 60-year-old I-94 East/West Corridor project are based on the best, most recent data and public input, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation today announced it will undertake a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the project.
“We believe the ongoing EIS process has progressed far enough for WisDOT to undertake a supplemental EIS for the I-94 East/West project," said Craig Thompson, WisDOT Secretary designee. “This will allow us time to better assess the changes in traffic patterns resulting from the pandemic, and to receive more public input. It will also help us make certain that our efforts to ensure racial equity with this project are comprehensive and aligned with federal priorities," he said.
Thompson said he believes the expanded public review process will enable WisDOT to obtain final federal approval of the project as early as late 2022.
The project would rebuild the portion of I-94 between the Marquette and Zoo interchanges. The corridor was originally built nearly 60 years ago, and temporary repairs are no longer viable. Merging patterns, congestion, and outdated ramp design have contributed to crash rates that are twice the average of similar roads in Wisconsin.
“Doing nothing about this portion of road is not an option," Thompson said. “This aging stretch of highway is one of the most dangerous roads in the state. We've seen crash rates decline dramatically in the portions of the southeast Interstates that have already been modernized, so we know that upgrading the East/West Corridor will prevent injuries and needless deaths," he said.
“We want to make sure that, as we decide the best way to improve the corridor, we're working with the best information possible because this corridor needs to serve the public for the next 50 years or more. The supplemental process allows us to add to more than 100 meetings we've already conducted and will include additional input from local community members, businesses and other stakeholders. WisDOT is committed to an open and transparent process that improves mobility for everyone and minimizes any negative impact on the community," Thompson said.
“The East/West Corridor project is part of our ongoing effort to improve Wisconsin's entire transportation system," Thompson said. “Although federal and state laws have specific limitations on the use of funds for public transit, WisDOT is committed to investing in local road and bridge improvement projects, increasing operational funding and capital investments in transit systems, and making it easier for communities to build bicycle and pedestrian facilities."
For more information, contact:
WisDOT Office of Public Affairs