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Lawmakers talk 41 expansion and southern bridge

 

BROWN COUNTY (WULK) -- If you live in the Green Bay area long enough, you'll likely hear talk about the need for an additional bridge in the southern part of Brown County... also known as the southern bridge.

"Something that's been talked about in my district for so long. Really... was talked about when I was just starting high school," said State Sen. André Jacque, R-De Pere.

"This is absolutely the furthest we've come in my 24 years as mayor," said Mike Walsh, De Pere mayor.

The new proposed bridge would cross between Red Maple on the west side and Rockland Road on the east side.

This proposed plan also includes an Interstate 41 expansion project which would mean additional lanes along a 23 mile-stretch from Scheuring Road to Highway 96.

"We know down in the Fox Valley with I-41, the congestion issues... been a huge issue for years now," said State Sen. Roger Roth, R-Appleton.

Earlier this month, the Legislature's joint finance committee, recommended $6 million dollars be used to first study the area and look at environmental factors before any expansion or bridge.

"My colleges that represent the Fox Valley/Outagamie County, you know, had an interest on Interstate 41 expanding lanes. Brown County had a different interest so the ability to merge those two ideas into one regional effort into one was really a game-changer in this process," said John Nygren, R-Marinette.

How much money will go into the projects would have to be approved by the Legislature which could happen this week. State Sen. Andre Jacque is confident the Assembly and Senate will pass the budget proposal.

"I think that you're going to see the budget go to the governor's desk by the end of the week," Jacque said.

Ultimately, it's up to Gov. Tony Evers to decide.

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