“The damn road is dead.”
But the referendum result didn’t lead the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to take the $140 million corridor plan off its list of future projects. DOT experts have contended for years that heavy traffic on La Crosse area roads might justify a new highway, and opponents would respond that the state wasn’t listening to them.
Until this week, when the DOT
La Crosse city council member Chris Kahlow, another long-time foe of the highway project, says local politicians all used to be in favor of the corridor until recent years.
Current Mayor Mitch Reynolds campaigned against the corridor plan before he was elected this year, and he says the drive against the corridor has shaped his political thinking.
“My perspective on roads and neighborhoods was formed in large part by that tremendous effort by our community to say no to that road,” says Reynolds, who moved to La Crosse a few years before the referendum.