We must save the 27th Street freeway ramps

    The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Wisconsin (HCCW) released a position paper urging Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) officials to override engineers’ plans to close freeway ramps at I-894 and South 27th Street.

    The chamber’s board unanimously adopted the official position that the ramps remain open.

    We identified five areas of concern with the proposal to eliminate these ramps as part of the $1.9 billion reconstruction and expansion of I-94 proposed by the Doyle administration,

    Our research and community outreach led us to conclude that closing the 27th Street off-ramp would:

    • Stifle business activity on South 27th Street and discourage redevelopment.
    • Blight the growing south side Hispanic Community.
    • Create additional minority unemployment and stunt workforce development.
    • Damage secondary and higher education.
    • Lower tax revenue to the city and state.


    Highway transportation is important to the region and its economy.

    During these difficult economic times and rapidly changing economy, we must expect more from our officials. We ask Gov. Jim Doyle and Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi to tell their highway engineers to make the very modest changes that will enable the South 27th Street Corridor – the Main Street of Hispanic Prosperity – to remain a vibrant thoroughfare.

    WisDOT has been presented with a reasonable alternative that solves the problem for every stakeholder. The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Position Paper is an outline for action. Our community dialogue must now be taken to another level – we must insist that transportation officials order their staffs to implement a solution that will keep the Hispanic community’s lifeline open.

    We ask this not for ourselves, but for the community as a whole.


    Maria Monreal-Cameron is president and chief executive officer of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce-Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

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