Letter of Support for Enumerating the I-94 East-West Freeway Project
The below letter was sent to members of the Wisconsin state legislature regarding enumeration of the I-94 east-west project. The letter was co-signed by Suzanne Kelley, president & CEO of the Waukesha County Business Alliance and Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow.
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Dear Honorable Members of the Wisconsin State Legislature:
We are writing to you today in strong support of enumerating the Interstate 94 East-West Freeway project,
between 16th and 70th Streets in southeastern Wisconsin, in the 2017-2019 state budget. We appreciate the
opportunity to share our thoughts with you on this very important issue.
One of the most economically significant, and heavily traveled roads in our state is the stretch of Interstate
94 connecting the Marquette Interchange to the Zoo Interchange. Known as the East-West Freeway, this
3.5-mile road carries roughly 160,000 cars per day, $23 billion in freight annually, and not only serves the
tens of thousands of people traveling between Waukesha and Milwaukee counties, but the thousands more
that will end their journeys in Appleton, Green Bay, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Wausau and elsewhere. The
East-West Freeway is the state’s connection to the Port of Milwaukee, home to State Fair Park and Miller
Park, and it bisects an area home to thousands of businesses, employing tens of thousands of people. In fact,
according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 197,784 jobs are located within just two miles of
the East/West corridor.
In order to ensure this critical road remains eligible for future federal funding, this project must be
enumerated in the 2017-2019 State Budget. We are asking you to support allocating approximately $30
million, in existing money, to keep this project moving forward and ensure we do not waste the money the
Wisconsin Department of Transportation has already invested in completing the planning, initial design and
environmental clearance. We are not seeking funds to pay for the entire East-West project, we are
advocating for money that will protect the investment the state has already made and preserve the important
“Record of Decision” approved by the Federal Highway Administration.
Area Development Magazine ranks “highway accessibility” as the second factor considered most important
by site selectors. A survey of Waukesha County businesses showed the same result and in fact, more than 80
percent of respondents said the number one service a government could provide was a good, safe network of
roads that allow for the efficient transport of employees, customers and goods.
Not only is the East-West project significant to southeastern Wisconsin, it’s vital to the entire state of
Wisconsin, given the sheer volume of freight moved annually through this corridor, often traveling to and
from other parts of Wisconsin. Thank you for your time and consideration. Please feel free to contact us if
you have any questions or concerns about our support for this project of local and statewide significance.
Waukesha County Executive
President and CEO
Waukesha County Business Alliance