The Wisconsin Department of Transportation recently announced that several major projects across the state will be delayed for years due to budget cuts enacted by Gov. Scott Walker and legislative Republicans.
Amid growing concerns about project delays, layoffs and safety issues, Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) sent a letter to Walker Oct. 1 urging him to call the Legislature into special session for the purpose of approving additional funding for road construction and repair projects.
“A strong, safe and reliable transportation infrastructure is critical for boosting economic development and creating good-paying job opportunities in Wisconsin,” said Shilling. “The decision by legislative Republicans to cut transportation funding was made at a time when Gov. Walker needed more talking points for his presidential campaign. Now that his presidential campaign is over and we know that these cuts will cost Wisconsin more than 5,000 jobs, it’s time to revisit this issue and prevent further costly construction delays.”
A July 2015 report by the U.S. Department of Transportation ranked Wisconsin the third worst state in the nation for transportation infrastructure. The study revealed that 71 percent of Wisconsin’s roads are currently listed in poor or mediocre condition and 14 percent of Wisconsin’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
“Potholes, traffic delays and safety hazards are taking their toll on Wisconsin motorists,” added Shilling. “There’s a real cost to Wisconsin families if we ignore these problems and kick the can down the road. I urge Gov. Walker and my colleagues to join me in working toward a long-term transportation funding solution that protects Wisconsin jobs and strengthens economic development opportunities.”