“On behalf of the Wisconsin County Highway Association (WCHA), we commend the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and those local officials involved in the selection of projects for their work on the Multimodal Supplement Grant Program awards that have been announced. Because of their efforts, greatly needed funding for 34 important county transportation and infrastructure projects will move forward.
Those involved in this process, led by WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson, should be recognized for a job well done. The Department created clear parameters and criteria, brought in those local officials who are on the front lines of service delivery to review and select projects, and promptly distributed $75 million in funding for a total of 152 county, city, town, village and tribal projects. These are projects that will impact our state, our communities and our future success.
While $75 million was distributed, it should be noted that $1.4 billion in funding requests came in for the MLS Grant Program for roads, bridges and other infrastructure needs across our state. This difference paints an incredibly clear picture of what happens when we do not invest in transportation in our state, a practice just now beginning to turn around in the last state budget.
This one-time MLS Grant funding is not a long-term solution, although the conversation should be had to explore expanding the funding for this program. On a higher level, we look forward to continuing our work with WisDOT to find long-term AND sustainable funding solutions for Wisconsin’s entire transportation network.”
For additional comments, please contact WCHA Executive Director Daniel Fedderly, PE, PLS at 715-505-9242.
The story featured the decline of Wisconsin’s system and highlights Trempealeau County, with comments from WCHA Executive Director Dan Fedderly and Trempealeau County Highway Commissioner Al Rinka.
On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, the New York Times published an in-depth article, “The Struggle to Mend America’s Rural Roads.”
The article states, “Although just 19 percent of the country’s population lives in rural areas, those regions have 68 percent of the total lane and road miles, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The state’s gas tax, which is dedicated to transportation needs, has been unchanged since 2006. A proposal last year from Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, for an 8-cent increase was voted down by the Republican-led Legislature, which instead raised vehicle title and registration fees.
“In the last budget, the Legislature and governor did come up with some additional funding,” said Daniel J. Fedderly, executive director of the Wisconsin County Highway Association. “But the problem is it’s one-time funding and it’s not ongoing and it’s not sustainable.”
In Trempealeau, decades of underfunding have left the county of 29,000 people with roughly $60 million to $80 million worth of road repairs. Generally, there is no state or federal assistance to help cover the costs.
“The last time we received money to help with road projects was 2008,” said Al Rinka, commissioner of the county’s Highway Department.
The normal life span of an asphalt road is 30 years. The county’s 292 miles of roads are now averaging 74 years.
Read the full New York Times article, “The Struggle to Mend America’s Rural Roads, here.
You can also view a supporting story, “Wisconsin Rural Roads Receive National Attention, Deteriorating Condition Blamed on Lack of Funding,” on Channel3000.com here.
The Wisconsin County Highway Association’s (WCHA) held their 2020 Winter Road School at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells January 13-15, 2020.
See photos from the WCHA 2020 Winter Road School here.
For presentations and Power Points, please login to the Member Section of this site and go to “WCHA Documents and Resources>2020 Winter Road School.”Note: If you are having issues logging in, please contact Michelle Gormican Thompson via email.
For additional questions please contact:
Gary L. Kennedy, WCHA Professional Development Director
1355 N. 16th Street
Manitowoc, WI 54220
Telephone Number (920) 323-6500
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to build the capacity of state, local, and tribal governments to use innovative data tools and information to improve roadway safety.
“This is part of the Department’s ongoing effort to utilize predictive data analytics to identify and address systemic factors contributing to crashes and improve roadway safety in communities across America,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The NOFO is an important step in the Department’s Safety Data Initiative, which helps communities devise policies to reduce roadway fatalities. This funding opportunity makes available up to $3 million to develop, refine, and deploy safety tools that address specific roadway safety problems. The Department anticipates making awards of $250,000 to $500,000 to each successful applicant.
Eligible applicants are state or local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and regional governments, other political subdivisions of a state or local government, and tribal governments. The funding complements existing safety data improvement programs at the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration by focusing on improving data tools practitioners use to inform their policy and decision-making.
The NOFO is available on grants.gov at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=322472
On December 3, 2019 at 2:30 PM ET, the Department will hold a webinar to provide an overview of this funding opportunity. Information about registering for the webinar is available on the Department’s Safety Data Initiative webpages.
Applications are due by January 17, 2019 at 3:00 PM ET.
The 2019 Wisconsin Counties Association’s Annual Conference video premiered Monday, September 23 in Sauk County.
The video, “A Day in the Life of Counties,” features what a typical day is like for counties, from delivery of human services to the work of county highway departments.
The video features interviews with Eau Claire County Highway Commissioner Jon Johnson, with footage of his department in action chip sealing. Portage County Highway Commissioner Nathan Check is also interviewed, including his department doing debris clean up after a large storm.
Watch the 2019 WCA Annual Conference video, “A Day in the Life of Counties,” here.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has new requirements and registration for the required flagging training starting in 2020.
There will be five training sessions to choose from and WisDOT is limiting the attendance of two representatives for each county. If a session doesn’t fill up, WCHA will allow counties to send more than two people.
See the WisDOT flyer on the flagging training here.
Registration is $95 per person, with a maximum of two representatives per county. Lunch will be provided.
This is an Instructor Training Course, intended for a representative from a county to learn and prepare themselves to train and certify other county personnel according to the Wisconsin Flaggers Handbook.
Note that Iowa County Highway Commissioner Craig Hardy will have more information regarding Work Zone Flagging Certification at his presentation at the WCHA-LDG Road School on September 17.
There are five sessions available, with each session running from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
October 10, 2019Iowa County Health and Human Services Building
303 West Chapel Street, Dodgeville, WI
October 16, 2019Polk County Highway Department
900 Pheasant Lane
PO Box 248
Balsam Lake, WI
October 17, 2019Marathon County
1200 Lakeview Drive, Suite 100
October 23, 2019Waukesha County Public Works Department
1641 Woodburn Road
October 24, 2019Sheboygan County Highway Department
W5741 CTH J
Please send registration by September 27 to:Gary Kennedy, WCHA Professional Development
1355 N. 16th Street
Manitowoc, WI. 54220
As summer wraps up and fall is just around the corner, be sure to register for the 2019 WCHA Fall Commissioner Training, will be held October 7-8 in Minocqua.
The event will be held at:
Best Western Plus Concord Inn
320 Front Street
Minocqua, WI 54548
Please make your own room reservation by referencing the Wisconsin County Highway Association (the block code is “WCHA”). The block will be reserved until September 6. Single room rates are $82 and will be the responsibility of each county. The number for reservations is 715-356-1800.
Commissioners who are not able to attend are encouraged to send a
representative. There is a fee of $95 for each attendee and must accompany your registration.
To register for the WCHA 2019 Fall Commissioner Training, click here.
To see the tentative agenda for the WCHA 2019 Fall Commissioner Training, click here.
For questions, contact Gary Kennedy via email or at 920-323-6500
Dane County and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) are sharing the costs for a snow plow driver training with L3T a driver simulator.
This is a pilot program to explore the benefits and costs.
“WCHA will be looking at the possibilities of expanding this across the State,” said WCHA Executive Director Dan Fedderly. “Thank you Commissioner Mandli for your efforts in this important training opportunity.”
The L3T is on-site in Dane County through August 28, 2019.
The Wisconsin County Highway Association and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) have launched a new pilot program, the Local Bridge Improvement Assistance Program, Low-Risk Delivery Pilot.
Listen to the On The Go podcast with TDA Wisconsin Executive Director Debby Jackson, featuring WCHA Executive Director Dan Fedderly here.
“We’re maximizing the return on taxpayers’ investment in our transportation infrastructure and found a way to overcome obstacles to push forward with a meaningful reform,” said Daniel J. Fedderly, executive director of the Wisconsin County Highway Association, which represents Wisconsin’s 72 county highway and public works departments.
WCHA has advocated for the removal of federal funds from local projects, a concept called Fed-Seg Swap. The idea is to transfer federal dollars out of some simple local projects and place those federal dollars on complicated projects that should have more significant reporting and regulatory requirements. These federal funds are replaced with state funds.
Fed-Seg Swap language was passed into law last 2017-19 legislative session. However, actual streamlining never occurred as a process was never put forward by WisDOT. Then, the legislature limited the ability to swap these funds in the lame duck extraordinary session last December.
This pilot program now provides state only funding on several bridges. The initial phase of the pilot includes 16 projects already approved for the WisDOT Local Bridge Improvement Program.
“Working with Secretary Thompson and the staff at WisDOT, we have made progress,” said Fedderly. “We know the ultimate goal is to streamline a much larger share of projects than 16 bridges, but this is significant, real-world progress we have been unable to realize until now.”
Fedderly says that when state and federal funds enter the mix so too does a myriad of rules, reporting requirements and regulations that unnecessarily drive up the cost of many simple, straight-forward projects.
“Highway commissioners consistently advocate to streamline project delivery process in order to achieve time and cost savings,” said Fedderly. “While this pilot won’t solve the overall transportation funding issue for local governments, it will help us ensure that every taxpayer dollar is used efficiently.”
The $5 million pilot is expected to run through the 2022 state fiscal year. Eligible bridges are limited to those with simpler needs, such as deck replacement or full replacement of a single-span structure with no piers. Qualifying bridges also must have no major concerns with environmental impacts, right of way, railroad or utility location. Projects can be removed from eligibility if such concerns become evident in the design process.
The Wisconsin County Highway Association-Leadership Development Group (WCHA-LDG) Conference Coordinating Committee will be hosting their 2019 Annual Road School September 17-19 at Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay.
View the 2019 WCHA-LDG Annual Road School tentative agenda here.
2019 WCHA-LDG Annual Road School
September 17-19, 2019
Radisson Hotel and Conference Center
2040 Airport Dr, Green Bay, WI 54313
There are room blocks available at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center at 920-494-7300. The room block is listed under WCHA- LDG (Wisconsin County Highway Association-Leadership Group).
Every member, spouse/guest, or corporate representative attending the conference must complete the attached Registration form. Sharing of name badges is not permitted. Registration forms must be returned with payment by August 14, 2019.
Cancellation and 100% refunds (by written request) will be received until August 14, 2019. After this date, cancellations will not be refunded.
All attendees and spouse/guests will be required to be registered to participate in any function of the conference.
Name badges will be issued and must be worn to attend all functions, including conference and social areas and events. Individuals not registered for the conference will not be admitted and/or asked to leave any event area. If you are not wearing your name badge, it will be assumed that you have not registered for the conference.
Non-Pre-registration/on-site registration will be $215.00 for county members & associate members, $325.00 for non-members, and $140.00 for spouse/guest. On site registration requires the payment by credit card, check and/or cash.
Those who have pre-registered may pick up their registration packets at the registration area, Tuesday, September 17, from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Wednesday, September 18, from 7:00 am. – 12:00 pm.
Register as a superintendent /foreman here.
Register as a vendor here.
Gary L. Kennedy
WCHA Professional Development Director
1355 North 16th Street
Manitowoc, WI 54220
Cell Phone (920) 323-6500
1502 W Broadway, Suite 102 Madison, WI 53713
Professionally Managed by Impact AMC