RACINE COUNTY — The state may restart construction on Interstate 94 in Racine County as part of legislation outlining an incentive package for Foxconn to locate in the area.
The bill allows for more than $250 million in borrowing for the I-94 north-south project, which extends from the Illinois state line through Racine County and up to General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee.
The funding is contingent on also receiving federal money for the project. Getting that money is no guarantee, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said, but state leaders are hopeful given President Donald Trump’s role in recruiting Foxconn to build in the United States.
“With how interested the president has been in getting this deal done, it makes perfect sense because it’s one of the things Foxconn needs,” said Vos, R-Rochester.
Foxconn announced it will invest $10 billion in a manufacturing campus in southeastern Wisconsin and directly employ up to 13,000 people. An exact location has not been determined, but legislators say Racine County is a favorite to land the facility.
Walker on Friday called the state Legislature into a “Wisconn Valley” special session to consider the legislation, which provides up to $3 billion in incentives for Foxconn.
“This is a once-in-a-century opportunity for our state and our country, and Wisconsin is ready,” Walker said in a statement. “Foxconn plans to bring the future of high-tech manufacturing to America, and Wisconsin is going to lead the way.”
Under Walker’s executive order, the Legislature will begin the special session Aug. 1 to consider the legislation, according to a news release. Vos has said the bill will be referred to committees and he hopes to have it on the floor of the Legislature by mid-August.
State Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, applauded the inclusion of I-94 funding in the bill. Wanggaard was a vocal critic of Gov. Scott Walker’s decision to leave the I-94 north-south project out of his proposed state budget.
“It is absolutely critical to restart this road project to ensure the success of not just Foxconn, but the many other economic development opportunities that are planning to come our area,” Wanggaard said in a statement.
Projects left in the I-94 north-south project in Racine County include a reconstruction of the Highway 11 interchange, near one of the sites under heavy consideration by Foxconn. The DOT also plans to reconstruct interchanges at Highway K and 7 Mile Road.