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Taxpayers to cover $13-million in Milwaukee bus route lawsuit

MILWAUKEE (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Wisconsin taxpayers will spend an extra $13-million dollars on new Milwaukee County bus routes, to settle a lawsuit involving a major road-building project there. The Black Health Coalition and the Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope filed the lawsuit two years ago. They accused the state D-O-T of discriminating against urban minority residents by not adding transit improvements to a major expansion of Milwaukee's Zoo freeway interchange.

Last year Federal Judge Lynn Adelman said the plaintiffs would most likely prevail -- but he allowed the interchange renovation to keep moving forward. The state announced a settlement of the lawsuit yesterday. The D-O-T said it would spend $11.5-million dollars over four years to ease congestion at the Zoo Interchange, which is the state's busiest -- and to improve the transporting of workers between Milwaukee and its suburbs. Another $2-million will be spent to enhance transit services and boost ridership. The court helped provide the mediation which resulted in the settlement.