MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Wisconsin’s Transportation Projects Commission (TPC) has recommended to the Legislature and Governor that two Major Highway Project candidates be enumerated or added to the list for construction in the next state budget including a 14-mile section of I-43 in Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties, and a 7.5-mile segment of I-94 in St. Croix County. A third project, a 4.4-mile section of WIS 50 in Kenosha County, received immediate approval as a Major Highway Project via the TPC’s statutory authority related to high-cost rehabilitation projects (State Statute 84.013(1)(a)2m).
“Strategic investments in our comprehensive transportation system are essential for the safe and efficient movement of people to jobs and commerce to markets,” said Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who chairs the 15-member TPC. “The Major Highway Projects being recommended for construction have undergone years of careful analysis, require significant upgrades to address aging infrastructure, traffic congestion and safety concerns, and hold tremendous potential to generate economic activity.”
Major Highway Project candidates acted on include:
Also Monday, December 1st the TPC:
Major Highway Project candidates undergo an extensive, statutorily-set evaluation that considers a project’s potential to enhance economic development, relieve traffic congestion, improve safety and achieve community objectives while minimizing environmental impacts. To move forward, candidate projects must undergo an environmental review process. State law prohibits the TPC from recommending major highway projects unless funding is sufficient to begin construction within six years.
The TPC is a public/private commission that includes the Governor, five state senators, five Assembly representatives and three citizen members who review, approve, and make recommendations regarding Major Highway Projects in Wisconsin. The full Legislature and Governor will make final decisions on the I-43 and I-94 recommendations as part of the 2015 – 2017 biennial state budget.
The 2011 – 13 state budget revised the definition of a Major Highway Project as a project that has a total cost of over $30 million and involves at least one of the following: constructs a new highway route of 2.5 miles or more in length; reconstructs or reconditions an existing highway by either relocating 2.5 miles or more of the existing highway or adding one or more lanes five miles or more in length to an existing highway; improves to freeway standards 10 miles or more of an existing divided highway having two or more lanes in either direction. State law (84.013(1)(a)2m) also specifies that any project with a total cost of over $75 million can also qualify as a Major Highway Project.
More information about Major Highway Projects in Wisconsin can be found on the WisDOT website at: www.dot.wisconsin.gov/projects/state/sixyear/major.htm.