Report: 19 Percent Of Wisconsin’s Rural Roads In Poor Condition

Badger State Ranks 16th Worst For Rural Roads In Disrepair

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pothole
_chrisUK(CC-BY-NC-ND)  

A new report suggests 19 percent of Wisconsin’s rural roads are in poor condition and 10 percent of the state’s bridges in rural areas are deficient.

National transportation research group, TRIP, studied federal road and bridge records for all 50 states. The data shows Wisconsin was ranked 16th for most rural roads in poor condition.

“Almost one out of every five miles of rural roads that you drive on in Wisconsin are in poor condition. That means there is significant rutting, cracks and potholes on these roads,” said Carolyn Kelly, associate research director for TRIP.

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Kelly said the federal gas tax isn’t keeping up with inflationary costs of road maintenance. She said Congress could help the situation by creating a user-based, revenue stream to fully fund the nation’s transportation programs.

In Wisconsin, lawmakers are deadlocked over how to fund transportation projects in the next state budget. Town of Farmington Chairman Mike Hesse said he’s hopeful state and federal lawmakers can make the politically unpopular choices needed to raise revenue for local governments.

“It’s nice to keep your budget level low and not raise taxes but there is inflation that we’re experiencing, especially on building materials for roads.”

Hesse said his town recently had to borrow $400,000 for it’s first road reconstruction project since 1975.

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