Wisconsin Issues $160 Million in Transportation Aid to Local Agencies
Gov. Tony Evers speaks at a past event. (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News)
Wisconsin officials recently announced the distribution of $160.2 million in financial assistance for transportation purposes to municipalities across the state.
This funding round is the third quarterly transportation allocation local government agencies received from the state in 2021. Quarterly payments for Wisconsin cities, towns and villages are sent at the beginning of January, April, July and October.
In April, Gov. Tony Evers and transportation leaders announced the distribution of $99.1 million in transportation aid to municipalities.
“Support for local governments’ transportation projects keeps goods and services moving throughout Wisconsin,” said Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary-designee Craig Thompson. “We are committed to investing wisely and working cooperatively to build good transportation solutions that support safety, economic development and our quality of life.”
Payments include General Transportation Aids, Connecting Highway Aids and Expressway Policing Aids for Milwaukee County.
The General Transportation Aids program helps local governments receive state aid to offset the cost of county and municipal road construction, maintenance and traffic operations. These funds are generated by fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees collected by the state.
The Connecting Highway Aids program assists municipalities with costs related to maintenance on roads that connect segments of the state highway system. In particular, it compensates local governments for the incremental costs of through traffic that is routed over municipal streets. WisDOT defines “connecting highways” as local streets and roads that carry state highway travel through city and village settings.
Expressway Policing Aids help the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office with costs associated with patrolling expressways in the county.
The funds were distributed as $156.9 million in General Transportation Aids to all local units of government, $3 million in Connecting Highway Aids to 116 eligible cities and $255,975 to Milwaukee County for Expressway Policing Aids.
Local governments received more than $505 million in General Transportation Aids financial assistance for 2020, according to WisDOT. This figure marks a 10% increase over 2019 allocations.
The local assistance increase is part of $465 million in new funding for transportation projects that was included in the 2019-20 state budget. Besides the 10% increase in General Transportation Aids assistance, the budget included $320 million in new funding for the State Highway Rehabilitation program and $90 million in one-time funding for the Local Roads Improvement Program.
The State Highway Rehabilitation program funds “3R” improvements: resurfacing, reconditioning and reconstructing existing roadways and bridges. It also supports the addition of lanes and safety improvements as well as minor roadway realignments.
The Local Roads Improvement Program, established in 1991, helps local governments with improving deteriorating county highways, town roads, and city and village streets. As a reimbursement program, the Local Roads Improvement Program pays up to 50% of total eligible costs, with local government agencies supplying the balance.
Wisconsin Issues $160 Million in Transportation Aid to Local Agencies | Transport Topics (ttnews.com)