January 27, 2017

Transportation Audit

The Legislative Audit Bureau released an audit containing some alarming information about the WI DOT yesterday. The audit points to a path forward for the DOT while at the same time it points out some very disturbing problems, especially when it comes to under estimating the true cost of projects. The report found:

  • The DOT did not adequately take into account inflation and unexpected cost increases when it submitted cost estimates to the legislature for enumerated projects.

  • This resulted in a $3.1 billion difference between what was projected and what was spent on 16 major projects which were ongoing in August 2016.  

  • The DOT budgeted for more projects than it could afford due to thinking it had more funds that it had available. DOT has not changed the proportion of funds allocated among its five regions to complete certain rehabilitation projects since 2006, did not fully comply with administrative rules for selecting projects,and did not document why it selected particular projects to construct over other potential projects.

  • From FY 2006-07 through FY 2014-15, work completed by DOT staff declined from 46.4 percent to 33.4 percent of total design engineering expenditures and from 37.6 percent to 32.4 percent of total construction engineering expenditures.

  • DOT generally had effective oversight of the processes for soliciting bids and awarding construction contracts and took steps to control construction costs, but it could take additional steps.

  • DOT potentially could achieve considerable additional savings if it met its performance measure goals.

  • DOT has established performance measure goals to improve its management of the state highway program. However, DOT is not consistently using them to manage and improve its operations.

Read the entire report here.

A breakdown of the road conditions throughout the state are included in the audit. Below are the findings of the counties in the 37th assembly district.

Proportion of State Highways Rated in Each Category of the
Pavement Condition Index in 2015, by County (In percentage).

County Good Satisfactory Fair Poor Very Poor Serious Failed Unknown Total Miles
Columbia 20.2 13.2 20.3 16.4 15.7 7.9 0.6 5.6 321.8
Dane 49.1 23.5 10.9 6.8 6.8 2.8 0.0 0.1 582
Dodge 44.3 21.9 20.9 8.4 2.8 1.7 0.0 0.0 284.9
Jefferson 39.3 25.4 14.6 11.1 6.4 3.2 0.0 0.0 235.6
State Average 38.76 26 15.95 10.1 5.3 2.1 0.15 0.36  

Proportion of Concrete and Asphalt Local Roads Rated in
Each Category in 2015, by County (In Percentage).

County Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor Very Poor Failed Total Miles
Columbia 2.7 16.5 46.3 22.1 7.7 3.7 1.0 1429
Dane 4.1 22.5 47.2 20.6 3.0 1.1 1.5 2449.3
Dodge 5.7 22.1 35.1 22.5 11.5 3.0 0.1 1478.5
Jefferson 5.3 24.1 38.6 20.8 8.1 2.6 0.5 1012.4
State Average 5.7 11.33 39 31.7 5.8 2.6 .64  


It's no secret that we must find solutions to the challenges our infrastructure faces. I and my colleagues will be working hard in the coming months to find answers that will be best for all Wisconsin residents.

On A Better Note

Wisconsin's unemployment rate fell below the national average of 4.7% to 4%. The lowest rate we've had since 2001!



Another very positive item I would like to share comes from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. It found tax revenues are going to come in $455 million higher than expected. What was projected to be a deficit back in November of last year, has now turned into a surplus. This is welcome news as we enter into our biennial budget cycle, which will kick off with Gov. Walker's budget address on February 8th. I'm looking forward to digging deep again into the numbers and put together a spending plan to move our state forward.

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Rep.Jagler@legis.wisconsin.gov State Capitol Room 316 North- PO Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708 Toll Free: (888) 534-0037 or (608) 266-9650