A transportation advocacy group says the governor’s budget offers no long term solutions to road funding. Transportation Development Association executive director Craig Thompson sees a problem with the governor’s plans.
“We already have the worst highways in the Midwest, which was confirmed again by the Legislative Audit Bureau,” Thompson said. “This budget actually cuts funding for the state highway program. It’s hard to imagine how that’s going to do anything but make the situation even worse.”
The situation — a nearly $1 billion deficit in transportation funding — led to a weeks-long deadlock during budget deliberations last year. “This budget proposal really offers no long-term sustainable solution for our transportation funding crisis,” Thompson said.
Governor Scott Walker is offering more money to local governments for road repairs, but Thompson said that will be difficult to maintain. “We understand that there’s not going to be the ability to provide a big enough increase to locals all in one budget to meet the yawning needs that they have,” Thompson said. “From an incremental standpoint I think this is a good step. The question is whether it’s sustainable when you’re just moving money out of Interstates and moving a small fraction of it to local aid.
Walker budget also provides funding to keep several major projects — including the Verona Road interchange in Madison and the Zoo interchange in Milwaukee — on schedule