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Funding could delay reconstruction of the Highway 41/441 interchange

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Vehicles travel around the Highway 41-441 interchange in the town of Menasha, Nov. 26, 2012. (courtesy of FOX 11).
Vehicles travel around the Highway 41-441 interchange in the town of Menasha, Nov. 26, 2012. (courtesy of FOX 11).

TOWN OF MENASHA, WI (WTAQ) - The Wisconsin Department of Transportation wants to put the brakes on the reconstruction of the five-mile stretch of Highway 10/441 from west of Highway 41 to Oneida Street.

"Those projects would fall under the major highway funding category of spending and that's the program area that we are looking at some potential reductions," DOT spokesperson Peg Schmitt tells FOX 11.

Roughly 60,000 cars a day use that part of the highway. Law enforcement officials say they are frustrated by the potential delay because they say the stretch of highway can be dangerous to drivers in the best of weather conditions.

"Just the way that it was designed with the curves and the amount of vehicles that seem to be doubling every year, it makes it very difficult for our officers to get out there and take care of anything," Jason Weber with the Town of Menasha Police Department tells FOX 11.

Menasha town officials say the Highway 441 corridor is vital for economic development and businesses are waiting for the highway project to get started.

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin by 2016 at a cost of roughly $415 million. A delay will not only push back the start of construction, but could add up to another $50 million to the cost.

The legislature will have the final say when it votes on the 2013-15 budget sometime next year.

The Highway 441 project isn't the only one the DOT wants to put on hold. It's also seeking a two year delay on a major reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee as well.

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