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
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
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
Pavement Condition Index in 2015, by County (In percentage).
Proportion of Concrete and Asphalt Local Roads
Each Category in 2015, by County (In Percentage).
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
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