Transportation Budget means no delays
for priority projects, jobs state-wide
The recently approved federal "Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century" or TEA-21, will have a significant impact on state transportation funding and the jobs of thousands of laborers across the state.
Under TEA-21, Wisconsin federal highway dollars will rise by 48% with annual averages over the next six years of over $521 million, compared to a current rate of about $351 million per year.
As a part of the final package, Wisconsin receives an additional $170 million in funding for the completion of 16 high-priority projects, including: Chippewa Fall Bypass; Highway 41 Kaukauna; State Highway 20 between I 90&94 and Chippewa Falls; Fond du Lac Bypass; Upgrade 151, Waupun to Fond du lac, and Platteville to Dubuque; Eau Claire Bypass; and Highway 29, Green Bay to Wausau.
This additional funding means the timely completion of important projects on key routes that are vital to continued economic development in the state, which ultimately impacts all construction in the state.
The agreement also frees $241 million to be used on Milwaukee's I-94 East-West Corridor.
In addition to increased funding levels for state projects, TEA-21 contains other provisions of particular importance to state taxpayers.
For example, it ensures that transportation revenues will be spent on transportation. For years a portion of the federal gas tax was used to offset the federal budget deficit. Now all moneys raised must be used for transportation purposes.
TEA-21 also ends Wisconsin's designation as a "donor" state when it comes to funding the nation's federal transportation program. For the first time ever, Wisconsin will receive back from the federal government every penny it sends to Washington in federal gasoline taxes.
For years Wisconsin was one of twenty-one "donor" states that, because of funding formulas that favored certain states over others, received less that its fair share of transportation dollars.
Thanks primarily to the efforts of Wisconsin Congressman Tom Petri, Chair of the Surface Transportation Subcommittee, the state has been able to narrow the gap significantly over the years, until finally eliminating it completely this year.
Wisconsin Congressman Jay Johnson, a member of the House Transportation Committee, also deserves thanks for the role he played on this key committee to ensure Wisconsin receives its fair share of funding
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