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Yesterday in La Crosse

Some folks thought the highway plan was a goner, 28 years ago



La Crosse Mayor Pat Zielke predicted in 1992 that the north-south corridor idea was “dead” for the decade after Plan 5 was voted down by the city council.  But another plan, named 5-B-1, got on the ballot six years later.  That referendum was aimed at stopping project funding for two years, but the defeat led road opponents to argue that La Crosse voters don’t ever want a road built through the marsh.  The Wisconsin DOT still had the corridor plan on the drawing board in late 2020.

One popular western Wisconsin restaurant closed that fall…Zach’s in Prairie du Chien, named after former President Zachary Taylor, who had served at Fort Crawford.  Zach’s was the site of a big party that summer, when Bill Clinton and Al Gore stopped in PDC during a Midwestern campaign tour.  Zach’s used to be known as Geisler’s Blue Heaven, with tiny lights in the dining room ceiling representing stars.

The last week before the 1992 election was busy at the La Crosse Airport.  President George H.W. Bush flew out of the airport on Air Force One, two days before the election.  Vice President Dan Quayle also made a trip to town, as did Health and Human Services secretary Louis Sullivan.  And boarding the same plane to Minneapolis one morning after separate speaking engagements in the area were Red Cross president Elizabeth Dole and author Kurt Vonnegut, in 1992, yesterday in La Crosse.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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