Cathy Dugan’s article in a Feb. 21 newspaper struck a chord, her concerns for the Business 51 project and the effect of this corridor through three communities. With what result on neighborhoods and communities if this corridor is just another ugly hot strip of concrete seemingly designed to better mimic L.A.
The governor recently announced a $300 million Department of Transportation (DOT) fund for infrastructure improvements, a significant portion of which will be spent in central Wisconsin, to redesign the Highway 51 corridor through the center of our collective communities. To wonder if this is an “improvement” to infrastructure or just an excuse to pour concrete.
The question as Ms. Dugan expressed, what will be the end result of this corridor project? The irony is that for an administration so devoted to job creation, this project will displace exactly the kind of business entrepreneurs this state is trying desperately to create.
Self-employed store-fronts of the kind that don’t ask for health care, pension plans, vacation pay, sick leave; instead gutsy self-generating, local color kinds of jobs we can only hope a savvy state administration would support. These the business identities the 51 corridor rebuild will displace with no assurance they will survive the dislocation.