Wisconsin has received $227.4 million in federal road funding grants for Fiscal Year 2018. Gov. Scott Walker said the funds will be used for nearly 50 local bridge projects and to complete by 2021 the I-94 North-South project (a Foxconn-related project stretching from near Milwaukee to the Wisconsin/Illinois state line).
The funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) includes:
- A record-setting $160 million in Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant funds for the I-94 North-South project. According to Walker’s office, this is the largest INFRA grant ever awarded to Wisconsin and the second largest awarded by U.S. DOT to any state this year.
- $67.4 million in supplemental highway funds and redistribution funds.
Although the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) originally requested $246 million in federal funds, Wisconsin still received 109 percent of the federal highway funds anticipated in the 2017-19 state budget, requiring DOT to submit an expenditure plan to the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. DOT requested $30 million of the federal funds go to the state highway rehabilitation program so that $30 million in state funds could be reallocated to highway and local bridge improvement assistance. DOT also requested $37 million of the extra federal funds go to the I-94 North-South project.
JFC met to review the plan on June 14 and voted to approve only $22 million for the I-94 North-South project and instead provide more dollars for local projects ($38.6 million for local bridges and $6.7 million for other state highway rehabilitation). The JFC motion passed along party lines after the committee rejected JFC Democrats’ proposal that provided no additional funding for the I-94 project and instead used those dollars solely for state highway rehabilitation.