Wis. Gov. Scott Walker’s eyes are bigger than his transportation budget. The Wisconsin DOT had an impressive plan of road and bridge construction projects spanning over the next few years, but in order to make the financial numbers jive much of the work, including what is being done on the I-94 North-South and Milwaukee Zoo Interchange projects, are looking at delays.
Walker’s top priority is to close a $63.4 million gap in state DOT spending just a day before the Joint Finance Committee zones in on the 2013-15 road and bridge project wish list. Walker refuses to raise taxes and fees to make up the difference.
WisDOT’s Steve Krieser still believes many of the delayed projects will still be completed on time, but also admits the stall leaves little wiggle room for other unexpected delays due to the weather, etc.
“The governor believes right now that with the economy recovering slowly, now is not the time to hit people with new taxes of any kind,” Kriser told the Journal Sentinel.
Shortfalls in gas-tax receipts and vehicle registrations is showing the state Transportation Fund has $76.1 million less than planned, and delaying the I-94 North-South and Zoo Interchange will save $33 million. Money for repaving and repairing highways also would be cut by $12.3 million, and routine highway maintenance would lose $2.5 million.