Wisconsin frees up $100 million for highway projects

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WISCONSIN (WBAY) - The State of Wisconsin is freeing up $100 million for additional highway projects.

The decision comes as the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is projecting $38 million in additional revenue.

“Today, I am directing WisDOT to advance $65 million in projects statewide into state fiscal year 2017,” Governor Scott Walker said. “In addition, WisDOT is projecting an additional $38 million in revenues, which the Legislature can allocate into the 2017-19 biennial budget.

"In total, these actions free up more than $100 million in funds for additional transportation projects due to new revenues and savings.”

In June, the DOT will go ahead with 21 projects around the state.

Those projects include resurfacing of US 141-East County Line in Brown County, and a midway interchange mainline for US 10/WIS 441 in Winnebago County.

The DOT says the additional revenue comes from lower fuel prices and competitive bids on projects.

The Wisconsin DOT has been under scrutiny since an audit found that most highway projects over the past ten years have gone over budget.

The audit suggested the DOT didn't fully take into account the effects of inflation, or solicit enough project bids.

In the Fox Valley--- almost a quarter of the funding will benefit the highway 10/441 corridor.

"We're going to specifically put 23.5 million more into the 10/441 project to accelerate that so that will move up a little bit. DOT is still working on how much that will move up the timeline, but obviously when you put 23.5 million into a project like 10/441 it will have a positive impact," said the governor.

WisDOT Project Development Manager Tom Buchholz added, "It's just another opportunity to get the work done sooner and earlier."

Buchholz says the funding will specifically benefit the Midway Road interchange.

"The contractors bid on it in July and now the contractors can bid on it in June, one month earlier so it actually allows the contractors to start work a month earlier. The completion date stays the same. It just allows more flexibility in the schedule," said Buchholz.

The extra revenue comes, as a result of lower than expected gas prices, and more competitive bids.

Neenah Mayor Dean Kaufert said,"We don't want to drag it on. I have always said, and I talked to governor a little bit today about this, the economic opportunities I believe, this is going to open up the door."

Construction on the highway 10/441 corridor is expected to wrap by in late 2018.




 
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