Agrees to Re-examine Alternatives, Impacts and Hold New Hearings
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will reconsider alternatives to a four-lane Highway 23 between Fond du Lac and Plymouth as part of an agreement between WisDOT and 1000 Friends of Wisconsin. The agreement also states that the Environmental Impact Statement will be revisited and new hearings on the project will be held to gather public input on the project.
1000 Friends of Wisconsin sued WisDOT, claiming that the agency had not adequately considered alternatives to a four lane highway, had not adequately addressed the environmental impacts of the project, and had not conducted public hearings, as required by state and federal law. The agreement between 1000 Friends of Wisconsin and WisDOT, which stays the lawsuit pending WisDOT’s review, was approved by U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman. The agreement states that WisDOT will conduct the review and hold the hearings within the next twelve months.
“We are very pleased that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has agreed to reconsider the Highway 23 widening project. This is precisely the type of relief contemplated under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act (WEPA). This is a clear victory for taxpayers, land owners, and the environment,” said Steve Hiniker, Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin.
“While we are glad that WisDOT will review the project, it is important for anyone concerned about this project to participate in the review. We have a terrific opportunity to make sure that Highway 23 is redesigned in a way that meets the needs of the growing communities that it serves and protects the interests of property owners, taxpayers, and the environment,” added Hiniker.
“There is no guarantee that the four-lane project is dead. This agreement only ensures that those who care about the future of this special area will have another opportunity to make their case for a redesigned Highway 23. We look forward to participating in this discussion and to working constructively with WisDOT in the months to come,” concluded Hiniker.
The motion for the stay can be found here.