The front door to western wisconsin is getting a facelift.
Governor scott walker announced the rest stop on interstate
90 in la crosse will undergo changes.
News 8's Mark McPherson joins us live in our newsroom
with more on why the governor thinks the changes are
Right now the rest stop is used as a place to stretch
your legs and use the restroom.
but the state thinks it can be used as so much more.
And another major project that's going on in the area
is presenting a perfect opportunity for change.
On a trip from michigan to california and back.
Coel Levine and his friends have seen their share
of rest stops...
COLE - At least 30ish.
Here in la crosse.
they used a map on the wall to find where they are.
and how far they have to go.
But the Convention and Visitor's bureau wants the
facility to be used for much more.
DAVE - you see how much, little space we have inside
for brochure display, I mean we need more space.
There is now doubt that we're crammed in there, the
brochures are jammed in there, there's no place for
people to mill around.
That's why Clements wrote a memo back in april presenting
and before he knew it, the project is underway.
DAVE - Thank goodness
everybody in the process, transportation
and tourism and the governor's office all listened.
One thing helping move the project along.
is the I-90 bridge project.
GOV - - As eastbound traffic is redone it will require
this area to be closed off so its the perfect time
do a complete facelift.
JILL - - We brainstormed and if we stayed within
the same imprint, we'd be able to get a tourism information
center into the project at the end.
The new three and a half million dollar Tourism Information
Center will feature more room for brochures and interactive
It will also have new restrooms.
It's all an effort to promote our state.
DAVE - It gives our local volunteers and staff a
chance to say hey, stay right here, stick around here,
here's what we can offer you for things to do, recreational
The hope is to turn a routine rest stop.
into something that brings people back.
The project is being funding through the department
There will be several months in both 20-15 and 20-16
when there will be no access to the rest stop because
of the I-90 project.
That's when construction will be done on the rest
They hope to have the entire project done by the end
of July 20-16.
Representative Jill Billings says when the project
they hope to move on to phase two.
That would include the possibility of walking paths
down to the river.
and possibly a pier that could be used for fishing.