The State of Wisconsin Transportation

My Perspective, TDA Executive Director Debby Jackson

Last week, Governor Evers delivered his State of the State address. His references to transportation were brief but significant.


“When we began our work together four years ago, our roads and bridges were in disrepair,” Governor Eves said toward the start of the speech. Later he highlighted bipartisan transportation accomplishments, “We’ve gotten to work fixing the darn roads—I even helped fill some of those potholes myself, by the way. And as I stand here tonight, I’m proud to report we’ve worked together to repair and improve over 5,800 miles of roads and nearly 1,600 bridges across our state.”


And when talking about the ability to “continue our progress making the wise investments we’ve long needed to,” the governor included fixing roads and bridges. 


These comments point out the simple truth. Together, we have made progress and may have temporarily paused the decline of system conditions. But we still have miles to travel to maintain existing conditions long term, let alone improve conditions. 


The challenges that have plagued Wisconsin Transportation for decades still exist, namely aging infrastructure, declining gas tax productivity, and fixed flat fees that don’t grow with the economy and cover rising costs. Current conditions—higher than average inflation and the push toward more fuel-efficient and electric vehicles—have made addressing these longtime issues more pressing. 


On Feb. 15, the governor will officially kick off the budget season with his budget address, so it is timely for TDA to release our State of Wisconsin Transportation document. TDA is providing this document to members and will be using it to formulate communications to educate lawmakers and others on why it is essential that Wisconsin, in the short term, does two things—ensure adequate investment by shoring up existing revenue and consider what comes after the gas tax.

Federal Infrastructure News

Rep. Van Orden to Serve on House T&I Committee

Representative Van Orden (WI-03, R), Wisconsin’s newest delegation member, has been appointed to three House committees: Transportation and Infrastructure, Agriculture, and Veterans’ Affairs. In addition, he will serve as the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity.

The TDA Fly-in should be a great opportunity to meet Representative Van Orden. 

Other Delegation Committee Assignments:


  • Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI-D): Appropriations Committee, Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee 
  • Senator Ron Johnson (WI-R): Finance Committee, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Budget Committee


  • Rep. Bryan Steil (WI-01, R): Financial Services Committee, chairman of the Committee on House Administration
  • Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02, D): Appropriations Committee 
  • Rep. Gwen Moore (WI-04, D): Ways and Means Committee
  • Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05, R): Judiciary Committee, Financial Services Committee
  • Rep. Glenn Grothman (WI-06, R): Budget Committee, Oversight and Accountability Committee, Education and Workforce Committee
  • Rep. Tom Tiffany (WI-07, R): Judiciary Committee, Natural Resources Committee
  • Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI-08, R): Armed Services Committee, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and chairman of the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party  

Still Time to Register

If you haven't yet registered and booked your travel arrangements, now's the time to do it.

Join us on the TDA Fly-in March 1-2, 2023, to rebuild this TDA annual tradition after a three-year break due to COVID.

We can't wait to see you in DC!

Event and registration information is available here.

Wisconsin Transportation News

Northern Grain Belt Ports Federally Approved

The Northern Grain Belt Ports received official designation and will be listed and ranked on the annual U.S. Leading Ports List.

The Northern Grain Belt Ports district is centered on the I-90 crossing of the Upper Mississippi River. It includes the historic inland port cities of La Crosse and Prairie du Chien in Wisconsin and the ports of Wabasha, Red Wing, and Winona in Minnesota. Also in the district are seven Wisconsin counties - Pierce, Pepin, Buffalo, Trempealeau, La Crosse, Vernon, and Crawford - and four Minnesota counties along the Upper Mississippi River.

This designation will help capture and represent the value of port and terminal activity inside the designated area.

Association News

2023 Sponsorship Opportunities Remain

The support of our sponsors helps TDA provide valuable, informative programming, both in-person and digitally. If you want to become a 2023 organizational sponsor or sponsor an event, click here for more information.

TDA Announces 2023 Event Dates

  • TDA Drive-in: Wednesday, May 24
  • TDA Annual Meeting: Wednesday, Nov. 15

Industry News

WCHA Executive Director: Thank You and Welcome

At the January Wisconsin County Highway Association Winter Road School Conference in the Wisconsin Dells, WCHA and others paid tribute to longtime WCHA Executive Director Dan Fedderly. He has been a passionate advocate for the Wisconsin County Highway System and the larger transportation network for decades. From Wisconsin to DC, he is always ready to talk about transportation and work to deliver projects more efficiently.

TDA congratulates Dan on his retirement and wishes him the best for whatever comes next.

Thank you, Dan!

In early January, WCHA announced the organization’s next executive director, Patrick Vander Sanden. He joined WCHA after most recently serving as a statewide local program officer at WisDOT. Vander Sanden began his professional career as a policy aide for Wisconsin’s lieutenant governor and later worked in the State Assembly and State Senate. He subsequently spent more than 14 years in local government management as a public works director, village administrator, and city administrator.

“I am grateful for the trust placed in me by the WCHA to serve in this role,” said Vander Sanden. “I am very excited for the opportunity to assist the WCHA in furthering the critical work our county highway departments do to maintain safe and reliable transportation infrastructure for the State of Wisconsin.”

Welcome, Patrick!

Register Today for the CBG Conference

Registration is still open for the Construction Business Group's Winter Conference February 9-10, 2023, at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

Invited speakers include Governor Tony Evers, WisDOT Sec. Craig Thompson, WisDOR Sec. Peter Barca, former Green Bay Packer, and current Packer TV Commentator John Kuhn. Click here for the full agenda.

There is no cost to attend this great conference. Please RSVP: Cheryl Louis at or call 608-240-4178. Hotel reservations can be made here. The Kalahari may be full, but rooms are available at the Holiday Inn Express & Hampton Inn and Suites just down the road.

MAASTO Annual Meeting Registration Open

MAASTO Annual Meeting

August 14-16, 2023

The Wisconsin Center, Milwaukee

MAASTO's Annual Meeting is coming to Milwaukee this summer and is an excellent opportunity to network and connect with some of the best and brightest in transportation. Attendees will leave better informed and better prepared to change the future for the people they serve. 

Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO) works to foster the development, operation, and maintenance of an integrated and balanced transportation system that adequately serves the transportation needs of the ten member states.

Event details and registration information can be found here.

Sponsorship information can be found here.

Upcoming Events

If you would like TDA to consider including your organization's update or event in an upcoming newsletter, please forward information to Luke Pearson

Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin

10 East Doty Street, Suite 201 | Madison, WI 53703

(608) 256-7044  |

Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin