The Waukesha Area Chamber of Commerce (WACC) is spearheading a coalition of businesses promoting freeway expansion.
Calling themselves the coalition for Safety With Increased Freeway Transportation (SWIFT), they support the original plan put forward by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC), which includes the addition of 127 miles of lanes to metropolitan Milwaukee’s freeway system.
"Our number one concern is safety — the safety of employees, clients and customers of area businesses," said Patti Wallner, president of the WACC. "Our freeway system is becoming more and more dangerous to drive on because of the congestion. This congestion will only get worse in the years to come. We have an opportunity now to reconstruct the freeway and add lanes which will ease the congestion and make the freeway safe again."
Wallner went on to say, "business leaders are also concerned about Southeastern Wisconsin’s economy. The congestion hurts the bottom line of every business in the area because of lost employee productivity and customers inhibited from making the trek to the commerce centers."
More than 100 area businesses have already added their names to the growing list of members of SWIFT. Wallner said, "I am not at all surprised by the response we have received. Freeway congestion has been an issue for area businesses for a while now. We put the word out about the coalition on Friday. By Monday, 75 businesses had signed on, and the responses keep pouring in."