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Only 7 Days Left

Posted on October 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM

 There are only 7 days left to the West Waukesha Bypass Final Environmental Impact Statement Comment Period. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was released in October of 2012. The Final EIS was released in September 2014. It took the Bypass Planners 2 years to update the draft EIS and they give the public 1 month to submit comments on the 1000 page document. And the Bypass Planners wonder why we are a little grouchy??? It sure seems like the process is setup to benefit the Bypass Planners doesn't it? So we have to hurry.

 We can't let them win. Please submit your comments and tell the Bypass Planners that you don't agree with the assumptions they make in the Final EIS that the West Waukesha Bypass will be good for all of us!

 We know you are busy and will probably not be able to read the 1000 page EIS. So to help you with your comments we have developed a list of talking points. Please feel free to use any of the talking points below. Just put them into your own words and add your own personal thoughts. We apologize that there are so many points listed, ans that some are rather technical. This just represents how bad this project and its EIS is.

 Crash statistics in the Draft EIS are inflated. The Final EIS does little to clear up the confusion. It appears that East Bypass crashes and cross street crashes were included as occurring on Merrill Hills/Hwy TT. An independent 3rd party should verify these very important statistics After all, they are being used to justify the project.

The Purpose and Need is written to support building of a 4-lane Bypass, so in fact all the 2-lane alternatives were eliminated from the very beginning.

There was no 3-Lane alternative discusses even though there are some studies that show the 3-lane alternative to be safer than 4-lanes.

Traffic counts are based on old date and actual measurements were conducted during a very short time frame of a year or two. Recent studies show that people are driving less. The BYpass is being proposed based on old information

The Bypass is being proposed even as Hwy 83 just 5 miles west is being expanded to a 4-lane highway (similar to the proposed Bypass). Saylesville Rd and St. Paul have also been improved. Does a single community need 3 Bypasses?

There is no strong community support for building the West Waukesha Bypass. There never has!

The cost of this project is near 55 million. Where will this money come from. We can't afford to maintain what we have.

The EIS says that the Glacial Drumlin Trail will go under the Bypass. The Bypass looks to be 125 ft wide at least. How will this long tunnel be lit, maintained, drained of water, etc? There are no details in the EIS that we can find.

How can the County justify building a huge highway through the Pebble Creek Prime Environmental Corridor when just a few years ago the County was advocating for its protection.

How will the County prevent run-off pollution from cars (gas, oil, particulate matter) from being washed into Pebble Creek.

Recent studies are now showing negative health impacts from living near busy highways. How can the Count justify building this huge highway through residential neighborhoods and past Meadowbrook School. Our health and the health of our children is more important than saving a minute off of someones commute.

The EIS does not say definitively whether Sound Barriers (walls) will be installed. These are important and if not done well could cause property values to drop. Is the cost of these barriers included in the projected cost of the Bypass? If not it should.

Sunset Rd needs to be repaired. If the Bypass was built on the current footprint of Hwy X/Sunset the County would save millions. It should be left as 2-laines. Otherwise Sunset Rd will need to be repaired at another time costing taxpayers more millions of dollars. This is a waste of taxpayers money!

There are errors in sections of the EIS. In the final EIS, Section 2.4.2.1 Two lane On-Alignment Alternative With Limited Intersection Improvements option has the same exact cost estimates as the 2.4.2.2 Two lane On-Alignment Alternative With Full Intersection Improvements. The costs can not be the same when option 2.4.2.2 contains many additional improvements. This discrepancy raises the possibility if other costs are not inaccurate for the 2015/2016 cost projections in the final EIS

The West Waukesha Bypass is not needed. Don't waste tens of millions of dollars on a 4 lane road. Don't increase the gasoline tax and vehicle registration fees for unneeded roads. Be responsible with our tax dollars and be prudent by saving money on road expansion by:

  • 1) Improving the current 2 lane route (county TT and Sunset drive) with turning lanes and stoplights at major intersections.
  • 2) Better maintain our current roads which many are still in disrepair from last winter.
  • Roads don't cause accidents, people cause accidents. Apply practical and logical solutions now by:
  • 1) Lowering the speed limit from 45 to 35. It is a very common practice to drive 5+ mph over the posted speed limit. At 45 mph almost everyone drives 50 mph. So at 35 mph everyone will still be driving 40 mph. It is a proven fact that lower speed limits reduce accidents.
  • 2) It is also a proven fact that inattentive driving is a major cause of accidents. All drivers should be responsible by not texting or talking on their cell phones while driving.
  • The EIS addresses damage that can occur to existing agricultural enterprises and even admits to permanent damage. It also states that some of the best soils for absorption of runoff/storm water are being messed with, so why is the County forging ahead with a project that admittedly will destroy successful farm operations, cause erosion, and affect groundwater And the project goes against the county’s farmland preservation documents/beliefs/ordinances.
  • The following is what the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) states about important environmental corridors like the Pebble Creek Corridor. The BYpass should stay out of important environmental areas
  • “Environmental corridors are in effect a composite of the best remaining elements of the natural resource base. Protection and proper management of the resources found within them helps prevent serious environmental problems. For example, maintenance of corridor wetlands as open space will allow them to function to their full natural capacity. The benefits may be protected wildlife habitat and fish spawning beds, filtration of stormwater runoff, storage of floodwater, and the preservation of diverse, rare, or endangered plant communities. Saving high quality woodlands provides many complementary benefits. These include scenic beauty, upland plant and animal habitat, and protection against soil erosion that occurs with their loss. Unseen, but vitally effective, is the forest’s infiltration of precipitation for groundwater recharge. This provides clean, cool groundwater inflow to lakes, streams, and wetlands, and replenishes well water supplies.”
  • Since the State of Wisconsin has already shown a budget deficit, the clearly stated economic benefit (in the EIS) of a No Build/Improve would be enormous. The No Build/Improve option is without a doubt the more cost effective, conservative and safe way to go forward. Improvements need to be made, but in comparison to the huge costs of building the proposed highway ( including the loss of tax income from the proposed buildings to be removed) the No Build/Improve alternative is the most responsible, rational alternative.

 

Here's where to submit your comments!

 The Final Environmental Impact Statement was approved on September 11, 2014. The document is available on the Environmental and Technical Reports page as well as at the Waukesha Public Library, Pewaukee Public Library, City of Waukesha DPW office, WisDOT SE Region office in Waukesha, and Waukesha County DPW office. A review period began September 19 and will end October 20, 2014. Comments on the Final EIS are due by October 20, 2014 and should be e-mailed to westbypass@waukeshacounty.gov or mailed to:

Gary Evans, PE

Waukesha County Department of Public Works

515 Moreland Boulevard

Waukesha, WI 53188

 

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