La Crosse (WEAU)- The Wisconsin Department of Transportation wants to revisit the idea of putting in a new North-South corridor in La Crosse. The same idea was struck down in 1998, but has been resurfaced.
There’s a lot to be done before the DOT can even discuss about putting in a new corridor.
“The DOT wants to revisit the Coulee Connections study, but can’t until the city and Department of Natural Resources work things out,” said Larry Kirch, Director of Planning and Development.
The marshland needs to be under the ownership of either the DNR or the city to have a road built through it. It’s currently owned by several people.
“Details need to be worked out in order for the transfer to take place,” said Randy Turtenwald, City Engineer.
The idea of putting in a new road wasn’t popular the first time, and it’s still not.
“Historically citizens of La Crosse have said they don’t want a road cutting through the marsh. They’d rather widen existing facilities than create a new corridor,” said Kirch.
“What we want is improving the existing infrastructure, and making changes so we can get where we need to go, with what we’ve got. We want to do it without building a new road through the marsh and our neighborhoods,” said Charley Weeth, President of Livable Neighborhoods.
About a decade ago a plan was set in place to connect 157 and Gillette St. through the marsh. That plan fell through, but it’s now being revisited. Coulee Connections would like to expand from 157 to South Ave. near Gunderson Lutheran.
“Gunderson Lutheran is probably one of the biggest generator of traffic in the area,” said Turtenwald.
It’s predicted that by 2030 the current corridors wont be able to hold the amount of traffic there will be.
“The existing corridor will fail from a traffic standpoint. It won’t be able to accommodate the traffic because the area is growing,” said Kirch.