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Impact of I-41 Becoming an Interstate

When highway 41 became Interstate 41, it opened the doors of commerce even wider for the Fox Cities. About 10 years in the making, this major thoroughfare that connects the interchange of I-94 and U.S. Route 41 now extends from the Illinois border, through the Fox Cities and up through Green Bay.

The advantages of such can be far reaching for existing and prospective enterprises looking to do business with or in the Fox Cities region. Regular in-state business partners can rest assured that their goods can get to market quickly on well-maintained roads throughout the region. Industry partners outside of the state can trust that the Fox Cities’ infrastructure is reliable, solidly in place and perhaps may indeed be attractive enough for relocation. Either way, having this interstate, in almost all scenarios, observers say will result in attracting greater growth to the region.

Additionally, there have been serious discussions about ways to expand and strengthen other corridors, as well, such as the College Avenue corridor and one to broaden the appeal between Appleton and Greenville, an area that is the hub of another new and exciting development: the newly designated Appleton International Airport, formerly Outagamie County Regional Airport.

Years in the making, having an airport with an international designation now means that this generation of business traveler on small flights of 20 or less can get to and from destinations with ease, clearing customs more swiftly, thanks to a new local U.S Customs and Border Protection station, instead of completing such tasks at a different hub that inevitably added more time and money to business travel.

The benefits of having customs inspections at the airport also means that private planes are now allowed to land in the Fox Valley without having to obtain clearance elsewhere, and the airport can bring in cargo from abroad.

Economic development in the area greatly influenced this historic change. (Business travelers represent about 80 percent of the commercial travel through this airport.)

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