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Audit To Examine Wisconsin’s Road Construction Projects

Lack Of Funding Has Forced A Delay Of Some Plans

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Lawmakers on the state’s audit committee have approved a review of Wisconsin’s highway program.

Concerns about the state’s level of borrowing has forced the Department of Transportation to scrap or scale back some highway projects. DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb said three projects were included on that list.

“The projects we recommended either denumeration or downscoping of were the Highway 38 project in Milwaukee and Racine County; the Highway 81/213 Beloit bypass in Rock County; and the U.S. 14 Viroqua and Westby bypasses in Vernon County,” he said. “The changes in those projects resulted in savings of $175 million.”

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Critics have questioned whether expansion should even occur when people are driving less. Gottlieb said motorists drove less during the Great Recession. He said now they’re back on the road, but not like they used to be.

“On a project specific basis we are being very careful that we are using the most prudent methods of forecasting,” he said. “We’ve had lawsuits on this. We are in the middle of lawsuits right now.”

This audit will not look at the agency’s long term funding, something that will be examined in a different study.

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