BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) Brown County leaders have met a milestone in their efforts to make the Southern Bridge Corridor project a reality. Kris Schuller reports a needed environmental study is nearly complete, allowing important design work to move forward.
A year ago WisDOT issued guidelines for Brown County to meet, if the state was going to build a new interchange on I-41 as part of the county’s Southern Bridge Corridor project. Wednesday the county executive announced they have.
“That record of decision will take place in October, which will ultimately make the determination of the preferred alternative route,”said County Executive Troy Streckenbach.
“In turn WisDOT is committed to design and construct the I-41 and Brown County Southern Bridge connector interchange as part of the overall I-41 major project,” said WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson.
That new interchange on I-41 is expected to be built at South Bridge Road – construction cost to the state between $40 million and $50 million.
WisDOT’s assurances to build the interchange now allows the county to move forward to develop secondary roads within the corridor. A route expected to stretch east along South Bridge and Red Maple roads over the Fox River, ultimately connecting with County GV.
“We’re budgeting $1.2 million to begin the engineering and design work to have the connectors to the interchange,” said Streckenbach.
It’s a project the county’s planning director has lobbied for, for years.
“We’re actually putting together the first section of an actual project and it’s very exciting,” said Cole Runge.
“The big takeaway for this is this project is actually happening, the Brown County Southern Bridge corridor is coming to fruition,” said WisDOT’s NE Region Director Colleen Harris.
A corridor expected to ease congestion on crowded bridges like the Claude Allouez in De Pere, while opening up the area to future development.
“When you start to spend this type of money it’s certainly safe to say you are committed to a project,” said Streckenbach.
The I-41 expansion project between De Pere and Appleton is anticipated to begin in 2026.