Transportation official calls for additional federal funding

WisDOT: Interstate project could go unfinished without proper funding
Transportation official calls for additional federal funding

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is calling for legislative action to improve transportation nationwide.

Foxx was in Wisconsin Wednesday to support the Interstate 39/90 Expansion Project, but he stressed the need for federal funding.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials said the Interstate 39/90 Expansion Project is essential for future success, but that without the proper fund the project could be in jeopardy.

The seven-year project, stretching from the Illinois state line to Madison’s Beltline, has an estimated price tag of $950 million.

DOT crews are hoping to expand 45 miles of the two-lane interstate into four lanes.

The expansion would increase the roadways use from 70,000 drivers a day to 100,000 drivers a day.

Foxx said without long-term federal funding, transportation projects nationwide could go unfinished.

“Without a long-term bill that not only boosts transportation, but provides the important policy changes that will help us streamline projects and move our country forward, projects like this one could be delayed or perhaps never completed,” Foxx said.

Foxx said federal funding for all transportation will run out in seven months under Congress’ funding bill that expires next May.

He wants the public to go to Congress, and ask them to support the Grow American Transportation Funding Bill.

The bill would add $302 billion over the course of four years for the transportation costs throughout the nation.

Meanwhile, WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb said with the proper funding, the Interstate 39/90 project will be completed by 2021, on schedule.