AUDIT: Wisconsin road crisis worsens
$1 billion budget deficit looms as GOP opposes long-term funding solution
MADISON, WI – Wisconsin’s unsafe roads are costing drivers more in repairs, delaying commute times and resulting in additional traffic accidents. A new audit reveals that Wisconsin roads, ranked 4th worst in the nation, are deteriorating at a rapid pace due to Republican budget cuts and project delays. According to the report, “The proportion of state highways rated in good condition decreased steadily from 53.5 percent in 2010 to 41.0 percent in 2015.”
“It’s undeniable that one of our state’s core responsibilities is maintaining safe roads that ensure families can get where they’re going and products can be transported efficiently,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Instead of solutions, Gov. Walker and Legislative Republicans have created a crisis that is jeopardizing thousands of jobs and putting the safety of Wisconsin drivers at risk.”
“Democrats will continue to stand with Wisconsin families, farmers and small businesses who support safe roads and a responsible, long-term transportation funding fix,” added Shilling. “With a $1 billion transportation deficit just months away, it’s time for the majority party to take a hard look at the facts and start working toward solutions. Wisconsin can’t afford to lose more jobs to Republican budget deficits and project delays.”
A report in 2016 estimated that Wisconsin’s deteriorating roads cost drivers $6 billion a year in increased vehicle maintenance costs, repairs and lost time. While Democrats have backed several long-term transportation funding solutions, Gov. Walker and Legislative Republicans have refused to adopt these measures and are demanding additional road project delays and construction layoffs in the 2017-19 state budget.