La Crosse Street is one of the City of La Crosse's most widely used roads and now Mayor Tim Kabat says there will be plans to fix it soon but likely at a higher taxpayer's expense.
La Crosse Street is a 1.5 mile stretch of Highway 16, which puts its maintenance in the hands of the state. However, the state has struggled in the recent past to fund its projects long term.
"There's some common sense things that could be done to set the state and set us locally on a good path but they're just not able to overcome that politically," Mayor Kabat said.
For the next six years, none of the DOT's 24 La Crosse County projects include Highway 16. Kabat says La Crosse Street can't wait that long.
"We're going to have to fund it with local dollars and then in essence send a bill to the state," Kabat said. "We cannot wait anymore because it's just beyond anything that's useful at this point."
Businesses like Bikes Limited located right on La Crosse Street see the effects of a road in disrepair, and not just on cars.
"The entirety of La Crosse Street, the bike lanes are terrible," said Josh Kenworthy, Service Manager at Bikes Limited. "Cars are also dodging potholes while bikes are trying to get around, it's just a mess."
Kenworthy said over the past eight years he's worked there, La Crosse Street's condition has lowered the amount of traffic they rely on for business.
"There are not a lot of bicycles that go down La Crosse Street, they go down the side roads," said Kenworthy.
"The link between moving people and goods and services around is vital," said Mayor Kabat. "The negative impacts are something we have to address."
Despite its likely impact on local taxes, Kenworthy agrees with the city's plan.
"If the state is not going to foot the bill or do anything about it, I definitely feel like it does come down to the city," said Kenworthy.
Mayor Kabat said there's still a chance that the state could find leftover funds and move Highway 16 up on their schedule (which happened for Lang Drive), but for now it looks like the city and its taxpayers will be footing the bill.