Contact: Craig Thompson, 608-256-7044
[MADISON…] Hundreds of frustrated citizens, business leaders and local officials descended on the Capitol Wednesday to urge lawmakers to pass a long-term funding solution that improves Wisconsin’s transportation system.
“Wisconsin’s roads are ranked 49th in the nation, we bond too much, build too little and real people are growing real frustrated,” said Craig Thompson, Executive Director of the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin (TDA), which hosted the Turnout for Transportation, Capitol Edition. ” Wisconsinites are practically begging for leadership and vision from our policymakers.”
During visits with legislators and staff, Turnout participants shared several key facts that are at the heart of the transportation crisis.
• Wisconsin has gone 9 years without any increase in transportation user fees• US News & World Report ranks the condition of Wisconsin’s roads 49th in the nation• The average age of Southeast Wisconsin’s Interstates is more than 50 years• Over the next 10 years, more than $200 million in ‘throw-away costs’ will be needed for short-term fixes in Southeast Wisconsin• More than 1,200 bridges in the state are classified as structurally deficient• Bad roads cost Wisconsin’s business and motorists more than $6 billion in repair fees, lost productivity and increased transportation costs each year
Despite well-documented poor and declining road conditions, the Governor proposed spending less on transportation over the next two years. A Legislative Fiscal Bureau analysis comparing the Governor’s proposed transportation budget to the current biennium shows that the Governor’s proposal would have reduced spending by $45 million.
While the Joint Finance Committee has scrapped that plan and are working off of a cost-to-continue or ‘base’ budget, no consensus has emerged that will improve the quality of our roads or the sustainability of the transportation budget.
“There are three things lawmakers need to accomplish,” said Thompson. “Wisconsin needs a reasonable schedule for the reconstruction of the half-century-old Interstate system, a plan that increases the percentage of roads and bridges in good condition, and a long-term vision that provides adequate resources for our interconnected system of city, town, county roads, highways and Interstates.”
For more information, go to www.JustFixItWI.com.