Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald
Press Release

Senator Fitzgerald Responds to State Highway Program Audit

“I am hopeful that the results of this audit—while disconcerting—will illuminate a way forward for Wisconsin’s long term infrastructure funding needs.”

By - Jan 26th, 2017 02:05 pm

[Madison, WI]  – Today, the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) released its audit of the state highway program administered by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Among the findings included in the audit, the LAB reported that a review of 35 ongoing and completed projects had a final cost to the state of more than double the amount originally estimated by the DOT. The report concluded that DOT project estimates to the legislature were inaccurate largely due to departmental failure to take into account the extent to which project expenditures increased over time as a result of inflation and unexpected cost increases. The report further showed that the proportion of state highways rated in good condition decreased from 53.5 percent in 2010 to 41.0 percent in 2015.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald released the following statement:

“I am hopeful that the results of this audit—while disconcerting—will illuminate a way forward for Wisconsin’s long term infrastructure funding needs. It is clear that in enumerating construction projects, the legislature and the Transportation Projects Commission have been operating off of largely incomplete information due to inaccurate cost estimates from the DOT. Only with a full and complete picture of the true costs of road projects can we accurately craft a transportation budget that meets Wisconsin’s infrastructure needs while maintaining responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

I am confident that the DOT will take immediate steps to implement the recommendations of the Audit Bureau to improve its management of departmental resources, and I look forward to reviewing the recommendations for legislative actions that will help ensure greater accountability and efficiency moving forward.”

Also contained in the audit were breakdowns of various project costs and overruns, reviews of DOT success in meeting performance metrics, and remediation recommendations to the department and legislature. Read the full report from the Legislative Audit Bureau: https://legis.wisconsin.gov/lab/media/2591/17-2full.pdf

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) represent the 13th Senate District, which covers portions of Dodge, Jefferson, Waukesha, Washington, Dane, and Columbia counties.

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