Cars of the future require roads to match

The Public Record

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:12 pm

Transportation and logistics play a key part in any corporate attraction project. In discussions with Foxconn Technology Group, Wisconsin officials felt good knowing large portions of the I-94 North-South corridor had already been redone and money was being set aside to move up the Racine County portion of the project.

But Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, said Foxconn had a bigger vision and asked for autonomous vehicle lanes to be included in the project. The state Department of Transportation is now working to include the request in its planning, but doing so doesn’t come without costs. The department’s application for a federal grant to support the project sheds light on some of its figures:

  • $40 million: Contingency to modify project designs in the area near the Foxconn development in Mount Pleasant, potentially including raising bridges, modifying on-ramps and adding retaining walls.
  • $134 million: Spending for local road improvements, including dedicated all-weather autonomous vehicle lanes on Braun Road and Highway KR.
  • $246.2 million: The amount requested from the federal government’s Infrastructure For Rebuilding America program. Receiving federal money would allow the state to use $252.4 million in bonding set aside in the Foxconn legislation.
  • 4,000: The number of workers Foxconn plans to shuttle to and from its facility per shift.
  • ???: The state DOT is planning to make another grant application to enable autonomous vehicle functionality between Highway KR and General Mitchell International Airport by 2021. 
  • 2032: Without federal funding, the I-94 project would be delayed until 2032.

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