Questionable Highway Projects Escape Budget Scrutiny in Wisconsin
by Angie Schmitt on May 25, 2011
A $125 million “road to nowhere.” Another $100+ million for a bypass around a town of 2,711. Welcome to the era of “fiscal austerity” in Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin.
Potholes and rough roads cost each Wisconsin driver an additional $281 annually, according to a new report. But they won’t get any relief under Scott Walker’s budget. Instead, they’re getting more highways. Photo: The Daily Reporter
A new report from the Public Interest Research Group examines $1.2 billion in proposed highway projects green-lighted by the Walker administration while the state rolls back funding for transit, education and local communities.
The findings indicate that in all his zeal for cutting public spending, Walker has a blind spot for highways. Despite a $3.6 billion budget deficit, Walker’s Wisconsin is forging ahead with a fortified highway budget. The Walker administration has proposed a 13 percent increase in highway construction. Meanwhile, $10 million in transit cuts have been proposed, in addition to a reduction in $48 million for maintaining local roads.