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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.

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Anyone who thinks we are saving taxpayer money by ignoring, deferring, and delaying is sadly mistaken.

Old to new | New to old
Oct 17, 2015 09:33 am
 Posted by  Matt Logan

"these projects will create jobs in the short-term and have a significant positive impact on the economy as a whole in the long-term."

Just to clear this up, TDA staff told me you should not interpret the above statement as suggesting there is a net benefit to the state if we moved forward on these projects. The lead researcher on the report informed me that a "partial equilibrium model" was used - that only looks at some of the impacts.

Oct 17, 2015 09:39 am
 Posted by  Matt Logan

"Anyone who thinks we are saving taxpayer money by ignoring, deferring, and delaying is sadly mistaken."

What I think is that maybe we should be thinking about cutting. National studies show declining returns on investment for highway spending, with the return dropping below the costs of financing in 2005. If you were to look at a histogram of returns versus number of projects with that return, I imagine you would see something like a bell curve. Now imagine drawing the line of the costs of financing over that curve. Any project to the left of that line is dragging down the state's economy, and we should be looking to trim such projects. This trimming would both save taxpayer money, and grow the economy.

Oct 20, 2015 11:59 am
 Posted by  Matt Logan

My Response:

Feb 18, 2017 06:48 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

At some point, after Scotty has been elected 19 times by the remaining residents, the state will be a giant pot hole. One fine day Scotty will accidentally drive into that pot hole. There will be no 911 to call because Scotty defunded fire and police, except his personal detail. All 17 of his detail will perish. He will be utterly alone and friendless but alive. His long, curved up nose, bald spot and beady little rat eyes will peek out feverishly from the muck and concrete that used to be a road. His body, old and frail, too weak (as always) to crawl his way out. Up to his neck in trouble. The Democrats did this Scotty mumbled to no one. The forest surrounding the once useful highway begins to show its residents. They licked their chops and whispered "its ALEC. ALEC* has brought us dinner". EAT HIM UP, EAT HIM UP! they rumbled. Terrified, Scotty starts to pray and pray and pray some more. And the evangelical God says, did you help the poor Scotty? Did you ok Medicaid Scotty? Do you steal from the schools and the teachers Scotty? Did you wreck the unions and steal on average $6000 per year from each member of the middle class Scotty? Did you gerrymander Scotty? Did you steal votes thru voter ID laws Scotty? Did you cheat on your wife Scotty?? You say NOBODY would have you?? Ha. Guess what Scotty? I won't have you either. You see, my hell is overflowing with the likes of you. Pretty pathetic when there is no room in hell. And heaven? well that is reserved for atheists and agnostics. People who weren't so smug about being a know it all "christian". So you see Scotty, in my world, heaven or hell, there is NO place for the likes of you. And now, as you did to others, will be done to you. As you always wanted, enjoy the spoils of *ALEC -- American Legislative Exchange Council. Look it up folks. ALEC

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About This Blog

 Debby Jackson assumed the role of executive director of the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin after more than 15 years with the organization. In addition to her vast experience in association management and transportation advocacy, Jackson has a background in business. She leverages the breadth and depth of her professional experience, along with her knowledge of the membership and mission of TDA, to be a strong voice for robust transportation infrastructure in Wisconsin. Jackson started her career as a staff auditor with Price Waterhouse, which led to a series of accounting and corporate management positions with a major national retailer.

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