May 2018 News & JFI Update  5/31/2018
Thanks Fly-in Sponsors
This year's Fly-in brought approximately 100 Wisconsin and Minnesota transportation advocates to the nation's capital.

We had substantive meetings with the entire Wisconsin delegation and enjoyed reconnecting with colleagues and meeting our Minnesota counterparts.

We also had about a dozen elected county officials - in town to be briefed on the Trump administration's transportation plan - join us for dinner.

This was all possible due to contributions from the following TDA Fly-in sponsors:

  • Aegis Corporation
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin
  • Fabick Cat
  • HNTB Corporation
  • International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 139
  • Mead & Hunt, Inc.
  • Miller-Bradford & Risberg, Inc. 
  • OMNNI Associates
  • Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc.
  • Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association
  • Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association
  • Wisconsin County Highway Association
  • Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council
  • Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association

Gallagher Appointed to T&I Committee

While in DC, we congratulated Representative Gallagher on his appointment to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He will also serve on the Highways and Transit; Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials; and Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management subcommittees.
Just Fix It Update
Rough Road Tour Bumps Through La Crosse County

The Rough Road Tour kicked off on May 15 with La Crosse-area officials taking the media on a bus to experience firsthand the region’s aging roads and outdated bridges.

The goal of the Rough Road Tour is to bring attention to the condition of Wisconsin transportation infrastructure, which includes state and local roads and bridges, as well as the impact on local communities.

Media Coverage

The next stop on the Rough Road Tour is Eau Claire County on June 12.
Detour: Wisconsin farmers cope with new bridge restrictions

La Crosse Tribune
May 27, 2018

It’s not crop prices that keep Shane Goplin up at night. It’s infrastructure.

Goplin, who grows corn and beans on about 3,000 acres in northern Trempealeau County, has seen the drive to his fields quadruple thanks to weight limits that keep him from driving trucks and harvesters across aging bridges.

New weight restrictions were placed on nearly 200 Wisconsin bridges — most on county and town roads in the western part of the state — this spring as highway engineers try to account for the strain from newer trucks that use tightly-spaced axles to carry more weight in a smaller frame.

As a result, farmers and truckers have been forced to take detours to get their products to market and haul half-filled loads from “landlocked” fields.

“This is a very serious concern for us. We want to make sure farmers can get to and from their fields,” said Rob Richard, senior director of governmental relations for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau. “If they can’t make the quickest, most efficient route they’re just adding wear and tear to other roads. … then it becomes a larger issue.” Read more
Other News
Policy Forum Releases Report on Wheel Tax, Generates News Coverage Around State

The report released by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum documents how local governments have turned to the wheel tax as state revenues stagnate.

Report excerpt:
Local governments are responsible for maintaining local roads in Wisconsin, funded by a mix of state aids and local revenues. The two major state funding sources are General Transportation Aids (GTAs) and the Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP). GTAs are paid on a calendar year basis, while LRIP payments are made by fiscal year (July to June), so some variations in funding levels shown in our calculations may occur.

As shown in the graph, total state funding for the two aids programs rose 15.5% from 2007-17, from $412.0 million to $475.7 million (blue line). When adjusted for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI), however, spending for the two programs declined 2.3%, or $11.3 million in real dollars (gray line). (A recent legislative audit noted that, in general, state highway costs have tended to rise more rapidly than the CPI.) Read more
Association News
Save these Dates
  • 2018 fall forums: September & October (to be announced)
  • 2018 Annual Meeting: Wednesday, November 14