The route, a goal for decades, will connect businesses in growing Green Bay area
DE PERE – The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) today announced that $50 million in bonding will be included in Gov. Tony Evers’ 2023-25 budget to build the Brown County Southern Bridge Connector Project, which the Green Bay area has sought for decades.
“While the project has long been needed to grow the economy and give motorists more options, the project was not supported by previous administrations and the project languished,” said WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson. “Working closely with local officials and federal partners, we’ve made more progress in the last three and a half years than the last 30 on a project that will finally join growing Green Bay area businesses and Interstate 41.”
“Governor Evers resolved to invest in our infrastructure and we are putting our money where our mouth is. In 2019 this administration committed to fund and build an interchange for the Southern Bridge Connector as part of the I-41 expansion project. And now, Governor Evers’ budget will include $50 million in bonding to build the Southern Bridge,” Thompson added.
Brown County is the lead agency for the project, and Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach celebrated the funding decision, which followed an environmental study and a Record of Decision that WisDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved in late 2020.
“For decades, the people of Brown County have been talking about a southern bridge to help address issues such as congestion, public safety, and economic development,” Streckenbach said. “We’ve been able to recently craft a coalition of supporters to finally build the momentum to see the project get funded. Today’s event marks the final chapter in this shared vision of improving life in southern Brown County.”
If included in the final budget next spring, the funding could set the timetable for completion of the bridge before the end of the decade.
The route begins at Packerland Drive in the town of Lawrence, continues along a new road to a new Interstate 41 interchange and follows Southbridge and Red Maple roads to the Fox River.
The connector will then cross the Fox River and follow Rockland Road and a new road to reach the intersection of County X and County GV in the town of Ledgeview.
The need for road and bridge improvements was first identified in the 1968 Brown County comprehensive plan.
Since then, proposals for building a new Fox River bridge and connecting roads were included in many local community plans as an important component of future development.