Funding for De Pere Southern Bridge, 1-41 expansion approved by committee

DE PERE, Wis. – After years of delays, the goal of adding a long-awaited southern bridge in De Pere took a vital step forward last Thursday.

Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee voted to provide funding for the construction of a southern bridge in De Pere, as well as lane expansions between De Pere and Appleton on I-41.

“We are thrilled to clear this major hurdle,” said De Pere Mayor Michael Walsh. “This is something I’ve been working on tirelessly over the years, and while this isn’t the final step, it’s a major one in getting a much-needed southern bridge built in our area. A second bridge would be a major catalyst for our City and the region as we look to grow and thrive in the decades to come, spur new business development, and increase driver safety by reducing congestion.”

Mayor Walsh said he was thankful for the efforts of Senator Andre Jacque, Senator Robert Cowles and Representative John Nygren, who helped pave the way for Wisconsin DOT to receive budget consideration and potential funding for this important project, along with the efforts of Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach, and the Greater Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce’s Jayme Sellen.  Beyond that, the Mayor is also grateful for those who have continually advocated and pushed state lawmakers to consider southern bridge funding for Brown County, including members of the De Pere City Council; the town boards of Lawrence and Ledgeview; and many other groups, businesses, residents and government leadership from the greater De Pere and Green Bay area.

Following this vote by the Joint Finance Committee, the state senate and assembly will next need to approve the funding plan, and Governor Evers will then need to give final approval.

If funding is approved for these projects, a new interchange and expansion work on Highway 41 would provide critical initial infrastructure to support the southern bridge.

First, work would likely begin on a new interchange at Highway 41 and Southernbridge Road in De Pere. This interchange would also likely be the start of an opening phase of Highway 41 lane expansion between De Pere and Appleton, running approximately 23 miles between Scheuring Road and Highway 96. Funding would also go toward work on the bridge itself, as well as accommodating the federal environmental review process and interchange access reports necessary to proceed.

 

 

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Southern De Pere Bridge Could Move Forward

Southern De Pere bridge could move forward

By Lee Reinsch
Press Times Correspondent

DE PERE – Pending environmental studies, headaches for those traveling over the Fox River in rush-hour traffic could be on their way to alleviation.
A second bridge between the east and west sides could be just the panacea, according to some.

The De Pere Common Council got an update on the long-awaited southern bridge project from Cole Runge, principal transportation planner for the Brown County Planning Commission and director of the Brown County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) on May 21.

The project would create another bridge over the Fox River and a divided four-lane arterial street corridor between the intersection of County Highways GV and X in the Town of Ledgeview and the intersection of County Highways EB and F in the Town of Lawrence, Runge said.

The project could also include a new full-access interchange at Interstate 41.

The Federal Highway Administration in March approved traffic studies done last year and concurred with a long-held opinion on the location.

“All of the entities involved (DOT, Federal Highway Administration, and Brown County) agree that the only viable alternative for the future in terms of handling future projected traffic volume is with the new bridge at Rockland and Red Maple roads, with the new interchange (at) Southbridge Road and I-41,” Runge said.

That location isn’t final and could change based on environmental findings, he said.

Environmental studies are underway and should be finished by May or June of next year.

After that, bridge design is expected to take two years, and then work could start on the bridge in 2022 or 2023, Runge said.
And it wouldn’t be done overnight.

“We’re assuming we’ll have to do it in five phases, starting west and working east until we’re finished, and we would expect to finish it in 10 years from the time we start,” he said.
Because it would directly link the industrialized areas to highways, the bridge would reduce shipping costs, Runge said.

It would also lessen traffic congestion without an expensive expansion of the Claude Allouez Bridge or Highway 57 south of downtown De Pere.

Because the bridge and connecting streets would have bike lanes and pedestrian walkways, it would give employers an added reason to remain in or relocate to the area, Runge said.

Runge said the county is seeking federal and state funds to offset the local costs associated with the project.

“We have some requests in to the state for some funding from the state budget at this point, and we have our eyes on some federal grant programs,” Runge said.
Alderman Jonathon Hansen said citizen support is crucial.

“There are some significant funds that lawmakers can work with, so if this is important to you, I recommend that you reach out to your representatives to make this go forward,” Hansen said.

Mayor Mike Walsh echoed Hansen’s plea for people to contact state legislators.

“We’ve been working with them very diligently and need them to get on board,” Walsh said. “We’ve had discussions with our local and valley representatives, and due to the fact that we’re now in a little competition for money with the Highway 41 project that reared its head a year or so ago, we need people and businesses to contact their representatives to get this project off the ground.”

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De Pere Ranked “Best City” in all of Wisconsin for 2019 by AreaVibes

De Pere Ranked “Best City” in all of Wisconsin for 2019 by AreaVibes

“Located in the state of Wisconsin, De Pere is a mid-sized city with a population of 24,544 people. If we look at the most recent Census, De Pere is known to have a predominantly White population. The next two most common races are Black and American Indian and Alaskan. De Pere is known to be family friendly as more than 79% of the population has already tied the knot. It might also be worth noting that 56% of residents also have children under the age of 18.

Without the right tools, relocating to any new area can be very stressful and challenging. Living in De Pere, Wisconsin could be a good experience for anyone who puts in the effort to do the research required. With useful information like amenities, crime, cost of living, housing and other key data points, finding the best places to live in De Pere and in the areas around De Pere is a much easier task.

With a livability score of 85 out of 100, De Pere is ranked #430 in the United States and #1 in Wisconsin. This is a great score, as De Pere ranks well in multiple categories! Another exciting tidbit, is that De Pere ranks better than 90% of all US cities! For each of the livability categories, we know that De Pere ranks very well for amenities (A+), crime (A+), education (A+) and housing (B). Unfortunately for De Pere, there are some categories for which it does not score well, this includes: weather (F).

Location, location, location – possibly the three most important words in your search for a new place to live. Fortunately, in De Pere, there is no shortage of amazing local amenities and interesting things to do. Some of the interesting things to do and attractions include: Seroogy’s Chocolates, DePere Cinema, and The Day Spa.

Low violent crime (murder, rape, robbery, assault) is a must for most people when searching for a new area to live. At 184 crimes per 100,000 residents, De Pere has a violent crime rate that is far below the national average.

School test scores can be an important metric in deciding if the local area schools can provide a solid educational system for children. The schools in De Pere have a test score average of 65%, which is well above the US average.

Based on multiple factors including: median home and rental prices, appreciation rates and home affordability, De Pere has received high marks in the housing category. Based on these calculations, the apartment rental and real estate market appears to be very healthy.

Assuming that De Pere meets all of your requirements, the next most important item to examine is the affordability of real estate in De Pere. Everything else becomes a lot less important if it turns out that home prices in De Pere are simply unattainable. Median real estate prices in De Pere come in at $167,400, which is 0.2% higher than the Wisconsin average. The home price to income ratio compares the median home prices to the median household income. In De Pere, the home price to income ratio is 2.6, which is 16.1% lower than the Wisconsin average. Real estate appreciation rates in De Pere are important to consider, as they can act as a guide to determine if your new home purchase will be a solid investment going forward. During the last twelve months, the appreciation rate for De Pere homes comes in at 8.4%, and the 5 year appreciation rates were 5.8%.”

 

Click here to read more on AreaVibes website!

Olde School Square: Space for Lease

OLDE SCHOOL SQUARE, 2200 DICKINSON ROAD, DEPERE, WI

This space can be one story around 3500 sq. feet, two stories for 7000 sq. feet or split into much smaller chunks where needed. This build out will be for the left side of the building, closer to Bleu. Each of the additional “units” on the second map are open as well.

750 sq. feet is available now, the second structure will be built as soon as a tenant has committed to the space.

Please contact Ryan Kraft via phone 920-347-5830 or via email kraftr@deleers.com for additional information!

 

 

De Pere City Council Allocates Stadium Tax Rebate

In big news last week, the De Pere City Council allocated nearly $1.3 million in excess tax money to various city projects. Nine projects were selected in total, and five of the projects likely would have been completed regardless of the Tax Refund.

The approved projects are as follows:

  • Re-write of City Zoning Code – $45,000
  • Establishment of City Brand – $100,000
  • De Pere Public Art intitiative – $100,000
  • De Pere Streetscape Project – $150,000
  • Pool Design – $300,000
  • Southwest Park Playground Equipment – $80,000
  • Splashpad – $300,000
  • Voyageur Park Amphitheater/Stage – $125,000
  • Voyageur Park Playground Equipment – $200,000

During deliberations, the City Council indicated that approximately $725,000 of the expenses were scheduled to happen in future budgets, effectively acting as debt relief. $325,000 of the discretionary funding was for improvements to Voyageur Park, including playground equipment and a permanent structure for housing music, theatre, and shows. $250,000 was approved for downtown improvements, including artistic murals, benches for pedestrian, and other decorations to improve the overall visuals.

Finally, $100,000 was approved for the establishment of a City Brand. This project, supported by the Chamber of Commerce, will result in defining top priorities for our city and the way we are presented to outsiders. This will include key messaging, logo, tagline, and a marketing communications plan to help consistently share and incoporate the brand throughout websites, social media, and advertising. This initiative will include training for businesses and organizations to learn how to co-brand with De Pere to further the collective impact and outcome.