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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation recently announced $131.4 million in funding has been distributed to communities across the state.
The funding, announced Jan. 11, marks the first quarterly transportation aid payment local government agencies will receive in 2021. Payments support Wisconsin’s 1,922 villages, towns, cities and counties.
Payments for cities, towns and villages are distributed the first Monday in January, April, July and October. They are made in three installments for counties, with 25% of the total annual payment distributed on the first Monday in January, 50% on the first Monday in July and 25% on the first Monday in October.
“These payments represent part of the cooperative work we do with local governments across the state to keep goods and services moving throughout Wisconsin,” WisDOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said. “We are committed to investing wisely and working hard together to come up with innovative, efficient transportation solutions.”
Payments include General Transportation Aids, Connecting Highway Aids, Supplemental Transportation Aids and Expressway Policing Aids for Milwaukee County. The General Transportation Aids program helps local governments receive state aid payments to offset the cost of county and municipal road construction, maintenance and traffic operations.
The Connecting Highway Aids program assists municipalities with costs related to increased traffic and maintenance on roads that connect segments of the state highway system. Supplemental Transportation Aids funding is directed specifically to towns. Expressway Policing Aids help the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office with costs associated with patrolling expressways in the county.
Specifically, the funds were distributed as $126.4 million in General Transportation Aids, $3 million in Connecting Highway Aids for 116 eligible municipalities, $1.8 million in Supplemental Transportation Aids for 96 towns and $255,975 in Expressway Policing Aids for Milwaukee County.
According to WisDOT, local governments received more than $505 million in General Transportation Aids financial assistance for calendar year 2020. This figure marks a 10% increase over calendar year 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. 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.
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