Deteriorating state of Wisconsin bridges adds to transportation budget woes

bridge

While the majority of Wisconsin’s bridges are still in perfectly acceptable shape, the average condition of the state’s bridges have declined over the past decade, a trend highway officials and legislators attribute to stagnant funding that’s failing to keep up with aging infrastructure. > Wisconsin State Journal

Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago rail proposal moving forward

rail

A proposed passenger train project that would connect Chicago to Minneapolis, by way of Milwaukee, took another step forward last week. DOT will host public meetings for the project in September, including one in La Crosse on Sep. 6. > BizTimes Milwaukee

Some lawmakers hopeful I-94 provision in Foxconn bill could move budget talks forward

highway

Construction on I-94 in Racine County could resume under a bill outlining the incentives Wisconsin will offer Foxconn as the electronics manufacturing company seeks to build a massive facility in the southeastern corner of the state, with some lawmakers hopeful the momentum will bring a renewed sense of energy to stalled budget negotiations. . > The Cap Times

Bids delayed for Zoo Interchange as Walker tries to speed up other I-94 work

zoo interchange

As Gov. Walker seeks to speed up work on I-94 south of Milwaukee, his administration is putting the brakes on Zoo Interchange work because of a lack of funding. The Republican-controlled Legislature needs to decide whether to borrow $250 million for the north-south portion of I-94 as part of an incentive package to land Foxconn. > Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In the midst of Wisconsin’s transportation crisis, Baldwin secures federal infrastructure funding

baldwin

In the midst of a budget crisis in Wisconsin, Sen. Tammy Baldwin has secured major federal funding to strengthen the state’s transportation system. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Baldwin worked across party lines to reverse President Trump’s proposed cuts, with the bill now headed to the full Senate for a vote. > Urban Milwaukee

With no transportation budget decided, WisDOT halts projects for August bidding

roads

With the state’s next budget nearly a month overdue, three projects were withdrawn this week from the WisDOT’s list of bid lettings for August. The withdrawals came as little surprise to road builders and industry officials, who have been anxiously waiting for lawmakers to break their impasse in rectifying an underfunded transportation budget. > Daily Reporter

Proposals to outsource more DOT work will dig deeper budget hole

highway

From the president of the state’s engineering association: “Multiple audits and independent studies have shown that outsourcing transportation design work has cost state taxpayers $15 to $42 per hour more than using DOT staff — whose compensation in the past decade has declined. And the old advice still applies: If you’re in a hole, stop digging.” > The Cap Times