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As I See It

State moves at snail’s pace to fix roads



They say the wheels of government turn slowly. That is certainly true of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The DOT announced that a reconstruction of La Crosse Street will finally get underway starting on Monday. That is about 20 years since the state first put fixing the busy road on its radar for repairs. City Hall has tried to pressure the state agency to move the project along more quickly, and former Mayor Tim Kabat even threatened to have the city rebuild the road and send the receipt to the state. But technically, La Crosse Street is a state highway, and therefore the schedule for fixing it is up to the state. This road has been in terrible shape for years, and the city has spent considerable time and money trying to keep it drivable. This slow pace is nothing new for the DOT. More than 20 years ago, La Crosse voters said no to a new north-south corridor through the city, but the DOT kept the plan to build it on their drawing board for more than two decades. I suppose we should be happy that La Crosse Street will finally get repaired and updated, with a new turn lane and improved pedestrian safety. But it should not have taken 20 years to actually begin. As Mayor Mitch Reynolds points out, the state moves at its own pace. Unfortunately that pace is slower than molasses.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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