Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839
MADISON – Governor Scott Walker announced today $76.4 million will go to fund 113 bridge projects statewide for the 2018-2022 Local Bridge Improvement Program cycle. Governor Walker’s budget included an increase of $20 million to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s 2018-2019 budget specifically for the local bridge program.
“We are providing the largest increases to local road and bridge aids in 20 years,” said Governor Walker. “The Department of Transportation achieved critical savings for Wisconsin taxpayers and moved up projects. Thanks to these efforts, our dollars will go further, and that means more bridges to connect people across Wisconsin.”
The Local Bridge Program was established to rehabilitate and replace, on a cost-shared basis, the most seriously deteriorating existing local bridges on Wisconsin’s local highway system. The program funds up to 80 percent of the eligible cost of the project.
“The department focus is on right-scoping projects,” said Secretary Dave Ross. “This means we’re going to build exactly what is needed to achieve safety and to improve the transportation infrastructure.”
The Local Bridge Program has adopted a replace-in-kind policy where emphasis is placed on a safe and effective bridge on the existing bridge footprint. Eligible project costs are those that replace the existing structure, with necessary adjustments made for current standards, safety, and other factors. Local funds may be used for enhancement beyond that scope based on local priorities.
As part of the local bridge program, the department is piloting a bridge strengthening program to address local load-posted bridges. The goal is to make cost-effective repairs to reduce the number of bridges in the state with weight restrictions, without compromising safety. Fewer restrictions enhance efficient freight movement, lowering the costs of transportation.