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Wednesday, 12 July 2017 14:24

Coalition continues push for impact study on U.S. Highway 12

Written by  CSI Media staff

WHITEWATER—A local group hand delivered letters to Gov. Scott Walker and state legislators asking for support to get an environmental impact study on U.S. Highway 12, according to a release from the Redline Coalition.

The coalition is made up of the Greater Whitewater Committee, Inc., Walworth County, the City of Whitewater, Township of La Grange, City of Elkhorn, Lauderdale Lake and Pleasant Lake Management Districts and Walworth County Economic and Development Alliance (WCEDA).

The group also is circulating a petition to send to Walker and state lawmakers.

The petition is located online at

The coalition’s mission is three-fold, according to the release: have Walker and state legislators direct the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to complete the environmental impact study on the highway, find sustainable transportation funding, and ask the Federal Highway Administration to work with the state to loosen the regulatory restraints.

The petition has reached 1,199 signatures in less than a month, according to the release.

The Redline Coalition conducted a forum on the highway May 19.
The USH 12 purposed route to the West of Lauderdale Lakes between Elkhorn and Whitewater was officially mapped out by the WisDOT in 1967 according to the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, but was never completed.

After 50 years, U.S. Highway 12 reroute and expansion remains stalled

“The delay in the study keeps those affected by the highway project in a continued state of uncertainty about the future of their properties, businesses and lives,” Whitewater City Council President Patrick Singer said in the release. “The uncertainty hinders the future development of possible jobs, businesses and any other developments.”

The preparation of the EIS was included and approved in the 2013-15 Wisconsin biennial budget. After a purpose and needs evaluation, WisDOT dropped the study.

Highway 12 is currently a four-lane highway between Genoa City and Elkhorn. It narrows to a two-lane highway between Elkhorn and Whitewater.

The Redline Coalition wants to expand the two lanes to four, according to the release.

The groups cites SEWRPC’s 2016 study showing the average annual daily traffic volumes between the end of the four-lane segment to Highway 12 and County Highway ES have exceeded the 14,000 capacity.

Accidents on that stretch of Highway 12 concern coalition members, who say the number of crashes will increase as both county tourism and traffic grow.



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