New London, Hortonville officials concerned
By John Faucher
While state lawmakers continue struggling over the proposed biennium budget, local government officials have been busy drafting letters and contacting their lawmakers asking them to keep a local transportation project on schedule.
Recent state budget discussions have initiated local fears that the Highway 15 expressway could be once again delayed.
New London Mayor Gary Henke has been in contact with State Rep. Kevin Peterson to voice his concern over any further delays.
The expressway project from New London to Greenville originally had been slated to begin in 2016 and end in 2018. It was already delayed once and could be delayed again if lawmakers can’t settle on funding in the state budget.
“This highway improvement has been needed for some time. It is not something that should be put off to a future date,” said Henke.
Officials in New London and Hortonville want to see the project go on as planned.
“The volume of traffic that Highway 15 carries is more than the present route can handle in a safe manner,” said Henke.
Hortonville Village Board members met in a special meeting on May 28 to discuss the Highway 15 project and looming state budget constraints.
“We the board discussed the potential delays in the project and did draft a letter to Representative Jim Steineke expressing our desire that the project continue on schedule without delays,” said Village President Traci Martens.
The board highlighted their concerns with traffic and safety and outlined previous letters submitted to the DOT in 2013 and over the past 25 years.
Henke said the improved Highway 15 is an important route for the industry in our area, as it will give them a quicker and shorter route to I-41 for transporting their products to market.
“We all know how important it is for an area to be served by an Interstate highway and now that Highway 41 is a designated Interstate, an improved Highway 15 will help a great deal in attracting new business and industry to our area,” said Henke.
“An improved Highway 15 will also help with attracting more residents into our area as access to jobs, shopping and recreation opportunities will greatly improve,” he added.