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Feds warn state about starting new road projects

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Report questions state’s ability to take on new projects with so many still ongoing.

The funding problem for roads in Wisconsin has apparently become sketchy enough that the feds are worried.

A new report says the federal government is questioning the state’s abilities to tackle new road construction projects when so many remain incomplete.

La Crosse state Senator and Democratic Senate Minority leader Jennifer Shilling has pointed to Republicans as being to blame for transportation issues.

“Democrats are willing to do the heavy lift and to be part of conversations but they are the party in control, they have had the majority for six years,” she said. “They have failed to put together a long-term sustainable funding plan for six years.”

A representative from the Federal Highway Administration says the state should finish current projects before starting new ones based on likely future funding.  

The feds provide about a fourth of the funding for transportation projects in the state. Recommendations are based on the outlook of how much that might change in the future. 

Shilling says the wait needs to end.

“To simply say we’re going to delay projects, we’re going to do bonding, that doesn’t fix this two years from now,” she said.

The recommendation could impact both of the big new interchanges in Milwaukee, as well as some other large projects that already face significant delays.  

 

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