DOT: Interstate construction dropped as part of reevaluation of state highway projects

DOT drops plans to expand I-39/90 north of Madison
DOT: Interstate construction dropped as part of reevaluation of state highway projects

Wisconsin transportation officials have given up on expanding the interstate between Madison and Wisconsin Dells.

The Department of Transportation had been studying adding new lanes to Interstate 39/90/94 between Madison and Portage and expanding I-90/94 from Portage to Wisconsin Dells. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that DOT officials said work on the studies ended Friday.

The studies began in 2014 and have cost about $3.5 million so far. DOT spokeswoman Patty Mayer said ending them now will save $5 million, which can be put toward a new study on replacing interstate bridges over the Wisconsin River.

DOT Secretary Dave Ross has said his agency must “right-size design” as it balances revenue and demand for projects. Mayer said the agency’s focus now is to maintain existing roads.

In a statement Friday, Ross said “planning for reconstruction or expansion outside of the planning horizon would be wasteful.”

“In an effort to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, I have directed WisDOT staff to reevaluate and reprioritize all state highway projects,” Ross said in the statement.

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