Sunday, January 4, 2009

Highway maintenance would take a hit

Funding for highway maintenance would be increased just 1% in 2010 and 2011, increasing available funding by a total of $5.6 million, under the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's budget request.

"Routine maintenance of the STH system is achieved primarily through contracts with each of the state’s 72 counties, WisDOT said in its request. "In general, program costs continue to increase even without increases in service levels. Annual adjustments in routine maintenance contracts for labor and equipment as well as the cost of salt are driving most of these increases. In addition, new lane miles and more traffic require additional resources."

The agency also raised the specter of service cuts if it does not get enough money, but did not suggest that it could reallocate resources within its requested $5.9 billion bienniel budget.

"If adequate funding is not provided, the program must prioritize its activities and then reduce or eliminate service and/or capital expenditures for repairing and replacing signs, repainting pavement markings, etc."

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