The Wisconsin Transportation Panel has approved three major highway repair projects that will total approximately $670 million.
Gov. Scott Walker, who chairs the 15-member Transportation Projects Commission of lawmakers and citizens, said the approved projects were needed for the safety of the state’s transportation infrastructure.
“The major highway projects being recommended for construction have undergone years of careful analysis, require significant upgrades to address aging infrastructure, traffic congestion and safety concerns, and hold tremendous potential to generate economic activity,” Walker said in a statement.
A large portion of the money will go to a 14-mile section of Interstate 43 in Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties between Silver Spring Drive and Highway 60, which will total $448 million. The 14-mile stretch helps connect Green Bay and Milwaukee, and is estimated to carry 84,000 drivers a day.
The project would rebuild the corridor with three lanes in each direction and replace several outdated bridges, curves and ramps. However, the budget would still have to be approved by Walker and lawmakers in the next state budget.
The $670 million budget also includes a $129 million reconstruction of an aging segment of interstate I-94, and a $93 million project which would repair a 4.4-mile segment of Highway 50 in Kenosha between I-94 and 43rd Ave that carries up to 36,700 vehicles daily.
Gov. Walker has always put a lot of focus on Wisconsin’s transportation infrastructure, and has even flirted with the idea of replacing the state’s gas tax for a sales tax to help stabilize the state’s transportation funding.