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WisDOT plans to fast-track 42 projects worth $147.3M with federal aid

By: Nate Beck, [email protected]//March 23, 2021//

WisDOT plans to fast-track 42 projects worth $147.3M with federal aid

By: Nate Beck, [email protected]//March 23, 2021//

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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says it will use $147.3 million worth of federal aid to help finish 42 road projects across the state sooner than expected.

After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, revenue from Wisconsin’s gas tax and vehicle title and registration fees fell sharply, most likely costing the state’s transportation fund about $172 million by the end of the fiscal year.

Congress, however, provided aid to state transportation departments in a COVID-19 relief measure late last year. WisDOT expects it will receive nearly $210 million in aid from the relief bill and other federal sources that will offset lower transportation-fund collections.

The agency on Tuesday said the federal aid would also help it advance 42 bridge replacement and pavement reconstruction projects worth a combined $147.3 million.

“Wisconsin, like other states, experienced transportation revenue shortfalls as a result of the pandemic and this helps put us back on course,” said WisDOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson in a statement.

WisDOT said it selected projects to advance based on priority road and bridge conditions. Most projects are in rural areas, with 10 scheduled to get underway in 2021 and 32 due to begin construction next year.

According to a distribution plan submitted to lawmakers in February, WisDOT recieved $186.6 million in aid through the federal COVID-19 relief bill, another $27 million through supplemental aid and $50 million from the federal redistribution process — $30 million more than the agency expected to receive.

In addition to plugging its revenue shortfall, WisDOT also planned to use federal money to put $25.7 million more into Wisconsin’s highway rehabilitation program and another $25 million into local road aids.


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