TDA Newsletter 5/30/2019
Turnout for Transportation Capitol Edition Well Timed to Deliver Just Fix It Message
 Thank you to TDA members who participated in Turnout for Transportation Capitol Edition in Madison last week.

More than 80 participants turned out for transportation and to remind lawmakers that Wisconsin needs a long-term, sustainable solution for transportation.

We had some fun reinforcing the messaging by playing The Price is Right, transportation style. Thanks to our three contestants: Stephanie Christensen, EMCS, Inc.; Jon Johnson, Eau Claire County Highway Department; and Debbie Schwerman, Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association.

TDA members joined with participants of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities Lobby Day to advocate for infrastructure and for a luncheon featuring Maggie Gau, the governor's chief of staff, as the keynote speaker.

Click here to see the Issue paper.
A Special Thank You to Turnout for Transportation Capitol Edition Sponsors:
Alliant Energy
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
Does the legislature have a sustainable plan for transportation?

In Business Blog
Debby Jackson, TDA Executive Director
May 23, 2019

Wisconsin, like other states, has grappled with how to fund transportation for more than a decade.

Earlier this year, the governor put forward a plan that would begin to address some of Wisconsin’s most urgent transportation challenges and cost the average motorist less than $4 a month.

For this small monthly fee:
More than 200 vital state highway rehabilitation projects around the state will start sooner.
Local governments will receive increased funding to support local roads and transit services.
Wisconsin will complete the Zoo Interchange and invest in other important modernization and safety projects, including Highway 23 and I-39/90, with limited use of bonding.
Debt service as a percentage of transportation revenue will decline significantly over the next decade, meaning more of the user fees Wisconsinites pay — like the gas tax and vehicle registration fee — will go toward better roads.
State highway conditions will stabilize.

Polling shows the public supports paying the additional user fee if it means road conditions improve. In a recent poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and released by the Association of Wisconsin Tourism Attractions, nearly six out of 10 voters said they are willing to pay an extra $4 a month to create an immediate solution to fix the roads. 
Wisconsin News
WisDOT Announces Hundreds of Highway Projects at Risk
Updated May 17, 2019

Craig Thompson, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary-Designee, states "the future of the state’s economy is at stake" as the legislature grapples with how to fund transportation.

The governor’s budget proposal invests an additional $320 million in the State Highway Rehabilitation Program. If this investment is not made, approximately 213 projects across the state will be delayed or removed from the state’s highway improvement program. In addition, at base funding levels, the percentage of roads rated poor or worse is expected to increase by 50 percent over the next decade.

Commentary from Tommy G. Thompson: Wisconsin must undertake transportation reform
May 16, 2019
Former WI Gov. Tommy Thompson weighs on transportation funding: 

"Politicians on both sides have ignored the warnings and kicked the can down the road. The people of Wisconsin are thirsty for leadership on this issue. They know our roads and bridges are in rough shape. And they want our governor and lawmakers to come together and fix it. We won’t fix all our transportation needs overnight, but we need to get started before the problem gets worse."

Read the column here. Note - the column appeared in publications around the state.
212 Roads to Somewhere
May 10, 2019

In his recent blog, Jerry Deschane, executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, highlights 212 projects included in the governor's $320 million State Highway Rehabilitation Program budget request that could be delayed.

As Jerry says, "each of those projects is a vital piece of a community’s economic success ... we hope the vote is “Green” for go because all roads in Wisconsin lead somewhere." 
Wisconsin Public Radio
May 24, 2019

As reported by Wisconsin Public Radio, there are many potholes across the state due to a difficult winter - but it's more than the rough winter: "it really comes down to a lack of investment in Wisconsin's transportation infrastructure." Road funding is "absolutely critical" for the state, according to Dan Fedderly, executive director of the Wisconsin County Highway Association. "Potholes are simply symptomatic of that system decline." 

WAOW Wausau
May 17, 2019

News 9 took DOT Secretary Craig Thompson for a ride down a particularly rough patch of Business 51 from the Eau Claire River to Schofield Avenue. And indeed, drivers are fed up with the bumps: “I drive this little truck and I bounce all over the road,” said one resident. “We would be able to fix this in 2020,” said Thompson. The plan would be an overlay in the short term and returning later to address issues beneath the pavement. However, Thompson said that will only be possible if increased WisDOT funding for the State Highway Rehabilitation Program as proposed in the governor's budget is passed by the legislature. 
Association News
Save the Date

  • TDA Annual Meeting: Thursday, November 7