Walker transportation plan focuses on Zoo Interchange and Hoan Bridge

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker today announced his plan to invest $6.4 billion in Wisconsin’s transportation infrastructure, including $824 million in new state funds.

Walker said his plan will prioritize existing revenue streams, replace the raids of the past with state taxpayer funds and make operational reforms so Wisconsin can continue to maintain and develop existing infrastructure projects.  Governor Walker’s transportation plan contains no scheduled delays for any major highway projects.

“My budget will invest in Wisconsin’s strong network of roads, bridges, highways, ports, airports and freight rail,” Walker said. “We are investing for the long term.  An efficient, safe transportation system is necessary for growing our economy and creating jobs.  ”

Among the projects funded in Walker’s budget:

* Zoo Interchange: Allocate $550 million toward the Milwaukee Zoo Interchange Project, which is the busiest interchange in the state.  Primary construction will begin in 2015-2018 and will improve safety and reduce congestion.

* Hoan Bridge: Utilize $236 million toward the Hoan Bridge and I-794 Freeway.

* Harbor Assistance Program: Invest $10.7 million for the Harbor Assistance Program, which provides grants to improve commercial harbors on Wisconsin’s lakes and rivers.

* Freight Railroad Preservation Program: $60 million will be dedicated to the Freight Railroad Preservation Program.

* Disaster Damage Aids: Dedicate an additional $800,000 to the existing Flood Damage Aids and make it available for non-flood disasters, similar to the wind storm in northwestern Wisconsin on July 1, 2011.

* Routine Maintenance: Increase funding for routine maintenance agreements with counties by $55 million.

* State Patrol: Fill vacant positions within the State Patrol by dedicating $2.7 million to train new recruits.

* Decrease Regulation and Streamline Services: Increase Department of Transportation enforcement of weight and size regulations. 

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