Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cut Highway Spending: The End of Civilization?

The Roadbuilders predict cataclysm, with 2,000 jobs lost, if the State does not let roadbuilding contracts in May and June, which would save $250++million.

Remember that the State's deficit is over $600 million.

Here's a list of the Endangered Road Projects.

Yah--it would be a real disaster, if:

Drummond Road (Bayfield County) reconditioning were to be postponed? Or if the Hys. 16/33 intersection resurfacing were put off? Or if Bennett Road/Hy 18 did NOT get a roundabout? Or if the Peshtigo Bypass of US41 were delayed? Or if landscaping 76th St. was done next year? Or if "special pavement markings" were not put on "various highways" in SE Wisconsin?

Could Winnebago County make it if there were no "Park-and-Ride" lot on Hy. 41? Will the State survive another year without acquiring more land at the 41/Breezewood intersection? I know that failing to "resurface Summit Road" at I-94 will not stop Oconomowoc from growing, and I suspect that Wisconsin Rapids will persevere despite NOT reconstructing 32nd St. (north.)

So what if the entire Beltline (south) is not re-surfaced? And will safety REALLY be affected if "safety rest area improvements" are not completed in Dunn County? The State has survived for 50 years without "modernizing" Hy. 41 near Fond du Lac--perhaps another biennium won't make a difference, either.

Will "reconstructing/preserving" the 51/29 corridor near Wausau "reconstruct and preserve" Wausau--or just some contractor's wallet?

Oh, I know that "maintenance" of Hy. 45 near Three Lakes is critical--to FIB's who own second homes up there. Can't drive 30-over the speed limit on a crappy road, after all....and Howards Grove will probably dry up and fall off the map if that Hy 42 "reconditioning" doesn't occur.


It's the end of civilization.


Headless Blogger said...

Not a bad way to go. Just cancel or delay $200,000,000 or so of over-priced or unneeded highway projects each year until the state pays off its debt. We could be in the black in time for Doyle's re-election.

BTW - Can someone explain how competitve bidding works in the case where the project budget is published for the bidders review pre-bid?

Anonymous said...

I can vouch that 32nd street North in WI. Rapids does not need repaving. Good job on this post.

Anonymous said...

I just returned this evening from a weekend in Chicago. Needless to say, the two states seem to be operating under two different assumptions when it comes to highways.

Given that you post was just relating to the budget, I can understand why you didn't address this. With gas prices hovering over $3.50 and most likely to persist over $2.00/gal in the long run, the Crivitz bypass along with the rest of the North Woods' project might just turn out to be white elephants. Now white elephants wouldn't be so bad if they paid for themselves. Much of the growth projects were made when gas was half the price it is today. There is every possibility that driving habits will eventually change.