Wisconsin Highway Binge Continues Under “$mall Government” Walker

Scott Walker makes it clear where his priorities lie. Photo: Brookfield7

We’ve dedicated a good deal of digital ink to the love affair between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and the highway. The way he spares no expense for giant road projects in his “broke” slow-growth state, you’d think he grossly exaggerated the state’s fiscal problems to justify his infamous war on collective bargaining.

There was the $25 million “highway to nowhere.” His “no train” fiasco, that ended up costing the state tens of millions. If you were to examine the state’s transportation policies, it would seem that Wisconsin is in fact awash in money.

Well, our most dogged Walker watchdog, James Rowen at The Political Environment, has another good one for us today:

File this $207 million highway expansion under “no surprise … no money … no problem.” Step one in the kabuki drama known as the local advisory committee stage of highway development in these here parts managed by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission – - SEWRPC – -is over.

And…the recommendation is…“yes”…for an extension of I-794 south into the Milwaukee County suburbs for six miles, at an estimated cost to ‘broke’ Wisconsin of $207 million, to shave five minutes off an unbearable 15-minute commute into the Milwaukee downtown.

The proposed route for the extension will run more of less parallel to another Interstate highway close by — I-94 — which is undergoing a $1.9 billion repair and widening (a third-lane in both directions) between the south side of Milwaukee and the Illinois state line.

Oh Scott Walker. Will that construction honcho who helped fund your campaign ever be satisfied?

Elsewhere on the Network today: NRDC Switchboard peers in on the dysfunction in the House of Representatives, as the clock ticks down on the transportation bill. Bike Portland shares insights from Oregon Democrat Pete DeFazio on the same topic. And BikeWalkLee says that 2012 has been a banner year — as far as state law goes anyway — for Florida’s cyclists and pedestrians.