The announcement of a federal grant being provided through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant Program that will fund improvements and upgrades at Wisconsin Highway 29 at County Highway VV is a tremendous Christmas present. The new interchange is scheduled to include sidewalks, bicycle lanes and roundabouts to address the safety concerns of our residents and the requests for more pedestrian options. In addition to improving the transportation network and enhancing economic growth in our community, there are additional plans for access to broadband.

This is a landmark day in the history of Hobart. The opportunity for improvements in the quality of life for our current residents and business owners, as well those we hope to welcome in the future, has brightened considerably. A decade-long quest for this interchange has been rewarded with this announcement.

Furthermore, in today’s polarized political environment, it is extremely satisfying to draw everyone’s attention to the bipartisan involvement in making today’s announcement possible. Legislators and key stakeholders from both sides of the political spectrum stepped up to the plate and helped us hit this one over the fences. I would like to personally thank the work done by Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach and his staff for the many hours they put into the grant application, as well as the support from our state and federal lawmakers. In addition, a letter of support from Governor Walker in the final days of the grant review process appeared to be very instrumental.

There is much work ahead of us. Today’s announcement is a large component of the funding, and we have to roll up our sleeves – not just Hobart, but Howard, Brown County and the State of Wisconsin – to fill in the remainder of the financing equation. The interchange will not be here tomorrow, but we will be working as hard as possible, working together, with the goal in sight of seeing the first car driving over the interchange, and the first patrons of the bicycle lanes and sidewalks.

-Village Administrator Aaron Kramer