The most destructive options involve construction of a new section of interstate highway running east of DeForest and Arlington, through Goose Pond Sanctuary at Ankenbrandt Prairie, and rejoining the existing interstate corridor near the Wisconsin River. In addition to destroying and fragmenting prairie habitat, including habitat for the endangered silphium borer moth and other threatened grassland species, the new highway would bring noise, light, air, and water pollution to the sanctuary, and would severely detract from public enjoyment of one of our area’s premier birding hotspots.
While construction won’t begin until 2025 or later, a decision on a preferred option is expected by this summer. We are hopeful, for a variety of economic, social, and environmental reasons, that DOT will elect to confine any capacity expansion to the existing interstate corridor rather than create a new roadway. Nonetheless, to assure this outcome, it is crucial that everyone who loves Goose Pond let DOT know that any new route through or near Goose Pond Sanctuary will pass through a minefield of public opposition.
UPDATE (Feb. 28, 2017): Good news! The Department of Transportation has eliminated the "East Reliever" interstate options, thereby removing the threat to Goose Pond Sanctuary! Thank you for your great help in making these concerns heard!