A Solution for La Crosse Street?

Wisconsin DOT Secretary Says La Crosse Street is Stuck Because of the Lack of North-South Solutions

The Following Are Vicki Markussen’s unproofed notes from the meeting, not to be taken as official statements for the Chamber of the Secretary

  • We are the only state that
    •  allows counties to do the work of the state. He considers this a great cost-savings and success.
    • Has a state patrol as an asset to communities. Used as flex police force.
      • Tough to get in. 100 applicants with 50 showing up and 38-41 graduate
  • DMV collects $1 billion from licensing and collecting
    • Average wait is three minutes at a service center
  • Wisconsin spends every federal dollar which qualifies them for redistribution. This qualified them for $69 million extra funding.  Money was spent on bridges in addition to $10 million. This was a 30% increase in bridge funding.
    • 183 bridges – all funded
  • Applied for an Infra Grant (sp?) = special funding for special project in state. Pot was $1 billion to 52 entities. Applied for $52 million. Lobbied heavily.
    • Received second largest award in all of US = $160 mil to finish North-South MKE to CHI
    • Georgia was the only state to get a larger award.
    • This supported Foxconn
    • Largest award in state history.

This means they are applying $300 million to the state.

Week ago Friday, they are getting $90 million more.

This equates to $1.2 billion in spending.


Their Website Has
  • DOT Audit
  • Tolling study


Questions & Answers

MPOs get $46 million allocated to district. They allow the MPOs to spend in advance of anticipated projects. Prioritization is done within the regional office.

Iowa adopted Theme-X-Prime (sp?) funding model where every road gets prioritized. This allows treatment before the road is gone. WI is moving to this model.

Fixed funding is changing where districts get dollars. Moving dollars from certain regions and not others.

  • Made a commitment to address audits findings. Working on this.
  • Population counts for prioritization should go away.
  • Goal is to move to data-driven formula to fix roads that is “on-time” (to address roads that can be saved with overlays, crack filling, etc.) before it needs reconstruction.
  • Properly maintained roads should last 50 years.

Compared to neighboring states, we pave 50k more than one (Iowa?) and 25k compared to another (MN?)


Formulas Change and How Impact
  • No one will lose funding
  • They have timeline to implement. Statute changes need to be made.
  • When projects get put into the TPC as an enumerated project, they have little flexibility and need to follow the original, submitted plan.
Other Modes
  • They handle a lot of federal pass-through dollars.
  • Harbor = $8-9 million
  • Rail – always asking for more
  • Majority of projects are done though bonding


Long Term Sustainability

His Solution: Take the pie and divide it up differently. We spend a lot on highways and interstate. We don’t spend enough, at $70 mil on local roads.

FHW study warned that WI is one of the few states over allocating money to major projects. Too many at once.

Need to get sustainable mega-projects completed. Ex. South Milwaukee = supposed to be done in South Milwaukee. Once get through the mega projects, there will be funding for local roads. There is enough money it just needs to get redistributed. Can’t do 4-5 $1 billion projects at the same time. Instead do what other states with 2-3 $1 bill projects.


He will look at what can be done on La Crosse St. 






Read the La Crosse Tribune’s event coverage