Monday, June 22, 2015

With giant potholes, 'freeway' in Walker's Wisconsin hardly free

We've noted on this blog here, and here the degradation of local roads as Walker's budgets starve municipalities of revenue, but yesterday on a warm, but by no means blistering spring day on the regional 'freeway' system north of Milwaukee built and maintained by the state, there were monster potholes damaging vehicles and shutting down traffic that were monsters:
Milwaukee County Sheriff’s officials say on Sunday afternoon, some large potholes [on I-43N] caused at least six vehicles to suffer flat tires. We’re told some of these potholes were six feet long by 18 inches wide by six inches deep.
Walker keeps talking about exporting his model and methods nationally. With Wisconsin's roads falling to third-worst among the 50 states, you might want to boost your auto insurance before heading to the polls:

The numbers mark a dramatic decline in road quality. As recently as 11 years ago, Wisconsin's roads ranked No. 22 in the nation, and their deterioration affects almost every industry and motorist in the state, according to the study commissioned by the Local Government of Wisconsin Institute.
Poor roads in the Milwaukee area cost drivers $700 a year in extra vehicle repairs, according to the study; in the Madison area, road conditions cost drivers an additional $615 in annual tire wear, maintenance and accelerated deterioration. Nationally, substandard road conditions cost drivers an average of $377 per year, the study found.
The primary culprit: State budget cuts that have slashed the amount of money dedicated to repairing both state highways and local roads, which has left fewer than half of Wisconsin's roads rated as "good" or better, the report found.


Dr. Morbius said...

Just part of the Business Looter Playbook.

Step one: seize management control of an organization. Step Two: slash all repair, maintenance, and upgrade budgets. Step Three: ruthlessly downsize staffing. Step Four: borrow enormous amounts of money to cash out those who are presently in control (or, in the case of a public institution, to build or construct new facilities to serve a particular political base and finance tax cuts). Step Five: move on to another organization, leaving the old with a ton of debt service, severe customer service issues, and vendors putting you on cash-up-front terms (or for public entities; a ton of debt service, cratering public service quality; and vendors putting you on cash-up-front terms).

I think that Milwaukee County residents already went through this once already; now it's the entire state's turn. But notice its close similarity to corporate raiding strategies.

Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago, my cousin hit a pothole (not in Wisconsin), lost control of her car, and hit a tree. She had to be extracted from the car by Jaws of Life. A week later, she died from her injuries.

So fixing potholes can be a matter of life or death.

my5cents said...

So, then who is getting all the money that's being paid out for quality road work? Is it just going in someone's pocket and there is no oversight of the work or what? Something's very fishy in the DOT and it isn't rotten fish.