Tourism official rips decision to drop interstate expansion

A tourism official is ripping the state Department of Transportation’s decision to scrap expansion plans for the interstate between Madison and Wisconsin Dells.

The DOT last week ended studies on expanding Interstate 39/90/94 after spending $3.5 million. Agency officials said they’re focusing on maintaining existing roads as state legislators wrestle with how to raise more revenue for projects.

Association of Wisconsin Tourism Attractions President Tom Diehl issued a news release Friday saying the interstate between Portage and Wisconsin Dells is one of the most congested in the state on weekends. He says ending the expansion studies after spending $3.5 million is wasteful and will hurt tourism because travelers will choose destinations other than Wisconsin Dells to avoid traffic.

DOT spokeswoman Patricia Mayers didn’t immediately respond to a message.