by Luke Ulatowski
For The Beacon
GREENBUSH — The first shovelfuls of dirt have been dug on State 23 for its four-lane expansion, and work started in full on Monday, May 13.
On Wednesday, May 8, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) held a groundbreaking ceremony at the Wade House Historic Site in Greenbush, Wis. Alongside various county, state and WisDOT officials, Governor Tony Evers was present. He delivered a speech before partaking in the ceremony.
“As someone who has been born and raised right here in Sheboygan County, I have driven on Highway 23 hundreds of times,” Evers said. “Even as state superintendent, I came back to the Sheboygan area on a regular basis.”
Evers, who is a longtime supporter of the State 23 project, highlighted the lives that the four-lane expansion could save. “Growing up in the Plymouth area, we’ve lost some family and friends on Highway 23, too,” he said. “Safety is obviously the top priority.”
Evers noted that Wisconsin roads “are some of the worst in the nation,” and solving that issue has been a major priority for him since his first day in office. “We need to recognize that investing in transportation is not a matter of politics,” he said. ”It’s a matter of identifying that we all want a quality transportation system when we work together and reach that goal.”
The project will stretch from County P to US 151, covering 19.1 miles of highway between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac Counties. Construction will gradually move west until its estimated 2022 completion.
State 23’s four-lane expansion has been in the works for two decades. It was first authorized in state statute in 1999. In 2015, it was blocked by a court injunction in response to a lawsuit by 1000 Friends of Wisconsin.
Four years later, the organization let the March 25, 2019 deadline for filing a claim pass by, and the project was allowed to move forward.