Memorial Day Weekend Travel to Heat Up
AAA predicts nearly 741,000 Wisconsinites will travel 50 miles or more this Memorial Day weekend, a 7.4 percent increase over 2021. This year’s forecast verges on pre-pandemic levels and mirrors national trends.

Even with significant increases in gas prices, 90 percent of travelers will set out by car. Yet, air travel and other modes are expected to see substantial year-over-year growth.

Pack your patience and safe travels, whether you stick close to home or head out of town.
Wisconsin & Federal Infrastructure Law
JFC Approves Federal Plan, Local Projects to be Announced Soon
On April 26, the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) approved with slight modification the Wisconsin Department of Transportation plan for spending additional federal funds resulting primarily from the new federal infrastructure law. By Wisconsin Statutes, the department must submit a federal plan to the JFC if the amount of federal-aid highway funds is less than 95 percent or greater than 105 percent of the amounts appropriated in the state’s biennial budget.

The department estimates that state fiscal year (SFY) 2022 federal funding will exceed the SFY 2022 amounts in the 2021-23 biennial budget by $282.9 million or 35.2 percent. This additional funding includes increased traditional federal-aid highway formula funds and new bridge formula funds from the federal infrastructure law, plus general fund supplement formula funds and earmarks included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, and August 2021 redistribution funds.

The distribution of the additional support is as follows:
  • State Highway Rehabilitation: $123.6 million      
  • Local Transportation Facility Improvement Assistance: $83.8 million
  • Local Bridge Improvement Assistance: $60.7 million
  • Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ): $4.3 million
  • Transportation Alternatives Program: $10.5 million

Except for about 60 million bridge formula funds and supplemental general funds these additional dollars need to be obligated by the end of the current federal fiscal year, Sept. 30.

The JFC modified the WisDOT plan by limiting the use of CMAQ money to eligible highway right-of-way improvement projects that reduce congestion or improve traffic flow and eligible traffic signaling improvements. The committee also deleted the department’s requests for a full-time position in the State Patrol’s motor carrier investigation unit and an adjustment to departmental management and operations appropriations.

Local Projects
WisDOT has been working with local government groups for months to prepare for the increased federal funding. The department received 358 applications requesting $263 million in local road program federal fiscal year (FFY) 2022 Surface Transportation Program funding. The department is expected to announce FFY 2022 local projects soon.

Local Bridge and Surface Transportation Program applications for FFY 2023 –2026 are due June 3, 2022.

Thanks to TDA Webinar Participants, Speakers, and Sponsors

Thank you to all who joined our April 28 pop-up webinar on implementing the federal infrastructure law. In this TDA briefing, our speakers, including Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Secretary Craig Thompson, reviewed the federal plan approved by our legislature’s joint finance committee, talked about the local project process, and discussed other opportunities provided by the infrastructure law.

A special thank you to our sponsors:
  • AAA Wisconsin
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin
  • American State Equipment
  • Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin
  • HNTB
  • International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 139
  • Miller-Bradford & Risberg
  • SEH 
  • Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association
  • Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association
  • Wisconsin County Highway Association
  • Wisconsin Laborers' District Council
  • Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association

The video and briefing materials are available here.
Federal Infrastructure News
$1 Billion Available for Safe Streets and Roads for All Grant Program
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced the availability of $1 billion in fiscal year 2022 funding for the federal infrastructure law’s new Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) discretionary grant program. SS4A provides dedicated funding to support local efforts to prevent roadway deaths and serious injury.

This announcement came as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released estimates showing traffic fatalities reached a 16-year high in 2021.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act created the SS4A discretionary program and appropriated $5 billion over five years, $1 billion a year.

Eligibility for the program is broad and includes metropolitan planning organizations, counties, cities, towns, and transit agencies, federally recognized Tribal governments, and multijurisdictional groups. Applications are due on or before Sept. 15, 2022.

More information about SS4A, including the Notice of Funding Opportunity and upcoming webinars, is available here.
Wisconsin Transportation News
WisDOT Announces Stadium Freeway Study
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announced a highway study to reexamine the Stadium Freeway segment of WIS 175 in Milwaukee. This 60-year-old stretch of road which runs between West Wisconsin Avenue & Lisbon Avenue needs to be reconstructed. WisDOT expects the study to result in a recommendation that ensures acceptable traffic operations and improves safety and mobility in surrounding neighborhoods.

“Any transportation project is about much more than asphalt, steel, and concrete. A successful project is an investment in the quality of the lives of people in our communities,” said WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson. “We will listen carefully to the input of local stakeholders to determine how WIS 175 can better connect adjacent neighborhoods, improve commercial vitality and, most importantly, enhance safety for all transportation modes that rely on it.”
Port of Green Bay Seeks USDOT PIDP Grant
The Port of Green Bay, a department of Brown County, is applying for a USDOT Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) grant to redevelop the former WPS Pulliam Plant into a state-of-the-art port facility. This project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to expand the port's capacity, create high-paying jobs, and grow the regional economy.

The county estimates the site redevelopment, with a projected $25 million cost, will generate an additional 20 jobs and have an economic impact of more than $87 million in the first five years.

The project will include brownfield clean-up, filling in an old boat slip, construction of 1,273 feet of new dock wall and crane pads, dredging, resurfacing, asphalt pads, a rail spur, and stormwater management features.

Brown County has acquired the property and secured a Neighborhood Investment Fund grant ($15M) and a WisDOT Harbor Assistance Program grant ($1.1M). The county plans to hire an engineering consulting firm and begin project design in 2022. With PIPD funding, construction could start in early 2023 and wrap by 2025.
TDA Outreach
TDA Podcast: Our Neighbor Minnesota
TDA learns a lot by watching what is happening in other states.

In this episode of the On The Go podcast, Margaret Donahoe, executive director of the Minnesota Transportation Alliance, joins TDA’s Debby Jackson to discuss all things Minnesota transportation.

Association News
Thanks to Our Organizational Sponsors
Save the Date

  • TDA 2022 Annual Meeting: Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Madison Marriott West