Though riding local roads right now is a trip through Pothole Hell, a little fact buried at the end of a long story about state spending and tax cuts contains this mind-boggling, teeth-rattling fact:
DOT officials say less than 26% of DOT road and bridge funding will be spent on local roads this year, which is down 38% from 20 years ago.And while legislators may toss a few extra bucks out of the $900 million surplus towards some local road re-surfacings and bridge repairs, the outlook for all state transportation spending is grim:
The additional proposed spending would mean that the roads fund would end the budget on June 30, 2015, with $41.6 million instead of the $84.6 million that is currently projected.
The fiscal bureau report also warned that account faces a $336.2 million shortfall in the next two-year budget. On top of that, $775 million more will be needed during that period to pay for major work on the Zoo Interchange and Hoan Bridge, though the Department of Transportation will issue bonds for part of those Milwaukee-area projects.So if the past is any guide, big new road projects will get the money, transit will be starved and local governments will have to choose between potholes and police as they spend their shrinking state and local dollars.
Check your struts, springs, tires and wallets.