April 12, 2021 3:30 PM, EDT

Wisconsin DOT Issues $99.1 Million to Municipalities

Milwaukee overhead highways An aerial view of Milwaukee. (AlenaMozhjer/Getty Images)

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Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and transportation officials recently announced $99.1 million in transportation aid has been distributed to municipalities across the state.

This funding represents the second quarterly transportation payment local government agencies received in 2021. In January, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation issued $131.4 million in funding to support local transportation purposes.

“The work we do with local governments across the state keeps goods and services moving throughout Wisconsin,” said WisDOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson. “Cooperatively, we are committed to investing wisely and working hard together to come up with good transportation solutions that support 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 payments 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. 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.

Specifically, the funds were distributed as $95.8 million in General Transportation Aids, $3 million in Connecting Highway Aids for 116 eligible cities and $255,975 in Expressway Policing Aids for Milwaukee County. The General Transportation Aids funding was dispersed across towns, villages and cities. According to WisDOT, second-quarter payments do not include counties, which receive three payments per year.

Local governments received more than $505 million in General Transportation Aids financial assistance for calendar year 2020, according to WisDOT. 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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