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As I See It

Wisconsin roads now fourth worst in nation, and getting worse



Not long ago, people in Wisconsin would justify the high taxes paid in this state by saying “At least our roads are in good shape.” Well, our taxes are still high, but our roads are not in good shape. Not by a long shot. In fact, a report from the U.S. Department of Transportation finds they are in bad shape, and getting worse. This report says 71% of Wisconsin roads are in poor or mediocre condition. That ranks Wisconsin’s roads as the fourth worst in the entire United States. Yet our lawmakers, who just completed their legislative session, have again failed to come up with a sustainable, long-term plan for road funding. In fact, they didn’t even debate the topic. The last action Wisconsin lawmakers took on roads was to cut transportation funding. Meanwhile, our roads continue to crumble, and literally hundreds of road projects across the state have been put off. Local counties like La Crosse have huge and growing shortfalls in their road repair budgets. They can’t even able to start talking about fixing those roads now beginning to wear, and are struggling to pay for road projects already underway. This is not a new problem. A special state commission recommended three years ago a number of ways to better fund our roads, but that was rejected by lawmakers. It is past time for our elected officials to make fixing our roads a priority, or soon we will find ourselves number one on the list of worst roads in the nation.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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