Governor Scott Walker Holds Press Conference Regarding Wisconsin Department of Transportation Contingent Bonding Request in Neenah
Governor Scott Walker held a press conference today in Neenah regarding the request by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Neenah – Governor Scott Walker held a press conference today in Neenah regarding the request by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) for the Joint Finance Committee to release $200 million in general obligation bonding for the Major Highway Development and State Highway Rehabilitation programs. Governor Walker was joined by local businesses and community leaders who have a vested interest in the US 10 / WIS 441 project, which is currently under construction.
“We urge the Joint Finance Committee to approve this request to release the funds included in our most recent budget,” Governor Walker said. “If the contingent bonding is not approved, the US 10/ WIS 441 project and others throughout the state will be delayed for two years. Wisconsin’s thriving industries and businesses depend upon a reliable and efficient transportation system for them to conduct their business. This contingent bonding will reduce delays for major highway projects, which is important for the economic welfare of the state. More importantly, however, it is vital to ensure the safety of Wisconsin’s motorists.”
The WIS 441 Tri-County Project will reconstruct and expand US 10/ WIS 441 from four to six lanes. The current crash rates on US 10 / WIS 441 exceed statewide averages for similar urban freeways, and the additional lanes of traffic are needed to safely handle expected traffic increases in the future. Right now, the $482 million project is expected to be completed by December 2021, which is two years later than previously planned due to funding reductions. Should the contingent bonding request be approved by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC), the delay will be reduced by one year, and the project would be completed in 2020.
The most recent state budget provides $350 million in general obligation bond authority, which can be used for either the Major Highway Development or State Highway Rehabilitation programs upon approval of JFC. For the current fiscal year, WisDOT may request $200 million. The remaining $150 million may be requested for the next fiscal year. On October 19, 2015, WisDOT submitted the request for $200 million to JFC. Should JFC approve the $200 million contingent bonding for the current fiscal year, it would provide $125 million to fund the Major Highway Development Program, which would impact the following projects:
- US 10 / WIS 441 (Calumet, Outagamie, and Winnebago Counties)
- WIS 15 (Outagamie County)
- US 18 / US 151 Verona Road (Dane County)
- I-39 / 90 (Dane and Rock Counties)
- WIS 23 (Sheboygan and Found du Lac Counties)
The remaining bonding would provide $75 million to fund the State Highway Rehabilitation Program, which would restore 222 miles of projects that were removed from the 6-year program due to Act 55 and increased construction costs. It would additionally allow for the advancement of 250 miles of project improvements over 10 years.
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