Think of it as the scenic route

Presumably, it was not with the price of gasoline in mind that Wisconsin's Department of Transportation set up a detour around a construction zone in the central part of the state last spring. See, when repair work on a short stretch of Highway 23 between Princeton and Green Lake began, bureaucrats decided to reroute cars, trucks, and other vehicles in the interest of orderly traffic flow. So, let's say you're driving to Green Lake from Milwaukee, 93 miles to the southeast. Just before town, you'd turn north on Highway 49, then west onto Route 21 until Route 73, where you'd bear south until rejoining 23 at the western edge of Princeton. From there, it's a straight shot into Green Lake from the west, although there is that construction to crawl past. Just one problem: This adds 54 miles to the trip ... when a shortcut known mostly to area residents would take only about five minutes. So why not send everybody that other way? Well, because local roads don't meet state standards for width or peak traffic loads, a department spokesman said. By the way, you'd probably be going to Green Lake because it's a resort area. Not surprisingly, hotel, golf course, and boat-rental operators – not to mention vacationers – aren't happy about the diversion.

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