Governor-elect Scott Walker wants federal officials to put funding toward improving Wisconsin’s roads, not its rail lines.
In a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Walker asked that the state be allowed to use $810 million in stimulus money to improve roads and bridges. That funding is supposed to be used on a high speed rail line connecting Madison and Milwaukee.
Federal officials have said if Wisconsin doesn’t want to build the rail line, the money will go to another state. Walker argues that a change in policy is needed though, based on the outcomes of elections in several states where high speed rail was an issue. He says several governors won election based on opposition to high speed rail, reflecting the public opposition to such projects.
Walker says Wisconsin has roads and bridges that are literally crumbling. He says manufacturing and tourism would benefit more from better roads than they would be expanding the use of rail.
Walker also says he doesn’t really see any scenario where he will change positions on blocking the high speed rail project.