Town of Waukesha votes down West Waukesha bypass; city favors it

Residents in town speak out against project

Dec. 11, 2012

The Town of Waukesha Board and its residents made their stance of opposition very clear on the West Waukesha Bypass at the Dec. 5 Town Board meeting.

The board voted 4-1 on four resolutions against the building of a four-lane bypass, a $50 million project that plans to connect Highway 59 and Interstate 94 on Waukesha's west side.

The project was first introduced in the 1950s.

Supervisor Brian Fischer was the only board member who voted for the bypass on all the resolutions.

Among the resolutions the town voted against was the Waukesha County-endorsed Pebble Creek alternative that would see the bypass go through Sunset Drive and Highway 59.

Chairwoman Angie E. Van Scyoc said she and a board member had an interview with the county regarding the bypass more than a year ago and was discouraged that none of their comments were in the Environmental Impact Statement.

"The county has done a lot of thick documents," Van Scyoc said referring to the EIS. "I question the process."

Many of the Town residents, who spoke for almost two hours during the public comment portion of the meeting, said they didn't support the bypass when it was first introduced and aren't going to support it now.

Despite being shot down in the 1990s, talk was restarted after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2009 by Waukesha County, the City of Waukesha, the Town of Waukesha and WisDOT, identifying the local, county and state responsibilities for studying and possibly building the bypass.

However, two individuals at the meeting brought up the town's motto of "A Great Place to Live" and said this bypass would not support that statement.

Reasons for opposition ranged from safety concerns with Meadowbrook School nearby, taking away green space and the rural atmosphere the town provides, decreased property values, noise concerns and pollution.

Others questioned the value of it and whether the town would gain any financial benefits to it.

Residents also said that more of the town's voice should be considered since they said 80 percent of the bypass would be in the Town of Waukesha.

There were more than a dozen people who spoke against it and a handful more who sent letters that Van Scyoc read in opposition of the bypass.

There were only two people who spoke in favor of the bypass.

A day later, the city weighed in on this issue and the Common Council unanimously approved the West Waukesha Bypass.

While plenty of individuals have voiced their opinions, whether it was for or against the bypass at the county and local level, individuals had until Monday to send any final comments to the county.


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