Oct 5, 201502:40 PMTransportation Matters
with Debby Jackson
Cost of doing nothing adding up
(page 2 of 2)
The delay of these projects will obviously delay the benefits listed above. Delaying these projects will also cause them to be significantly more expensive. Construction inflation in Wisconsin has averaged around 5% a year since 2000, while general inflation has increased on average at a rate less than half of that. This is driven largely by commodity prices, such as asphalt and steel.
If you think that delaying these improvement projects will free up money to put into basic maintenance of our roadways, think again. The vast majority of the state’s transportation budget is spent on maintenance and rehabilitation, and that is also taking a hit. I can say with certainty that we will hear in the near future of rehabilitation projects all across the state that are being pushed back, as well.
As far as funding for our city, county, and town roads: if the state can’t keep its projects on schedule, it is unlikely that aids to local governments are going to increase. Municipal road and public works officials across Wisconsin will tell you they have roads engineered to last 30 years that are on a replacement schedule well over 100 years as of today.
No matter where you live in Wisconsin, you will be affected. The UW–Whitewater study demonstrates just how impactful these corridors are to commerce in our state. However, the delay of these four projects is simply the symptom of a much larger problem.
Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine – your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.
Anyone who thinks we are saving taxpayer money by ignoring, deferring, and delaying is sadly mistaken.