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Tourism official rips decision to drop interstate expansion

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A tourism official is ripping the state Department of Transportation’s decision to scrap expansion plans for the interstate between Madison and Wisconsin Dells.

WisDOT last week ended studies on expanding Interstate 39/90/94 after spending $3.5 million. Agency officials said they’re concentrating on maintaining existing roads in the face of dwindling revenue.

Association of Wisconsin Tourism Attractions President Tom Diehl said in a news release Friday that the interstate between Portage and Wisconsin Dells is one of the most congested in the state on weekends. He says ending the expansion studies is wasteful and will hurt Wisconsin Dells tourism.

WisDOT spokeswoman Patty Mayers said the study data are still useful. She says ending them now will save $5 million, money that will go into studies on reconstructing Wisconsin River bridges.

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