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Wisconsin roads get D+ from American Society of Civil Engineers, $5.2 billion from infrastructure bill would change that


Wisconsin’s infrastructure is mixed bag. 198 bridges and over 1,900 miles of highway are in poor condition.

Drivers pay the price for it with longer commute times and an average of more than $500 a year to cover the costs of repairs from driving on poor roads.

“A lot of that infrastructure has really begun to show signs of deterioration due to its long-standing life cycle. It’s coming near the end,” said Jake Brunoehler, President of the Southeast Wisconsin Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Brunoehler helped write up the report grading various sections of Wisconsin’s infrastructure.

Overall, the state gets a C grade when it come to infrastructure.

Energy, Solid Waste and Hazardous Waste gets the highest grades in the state at B’s and B-‘s. Road, Transit, Drinking Water, and Wastewater get the lowest grades at D+’s and C-‘s.

It’s those with the lowest grades that Brunoehler says should be tackled first when Wisconsin gets its share of the funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“That is also the opportune time to take an opportunity while say while a road is being reconstructed that you can upgrade and modernize some of those older infrastructures, like water systems, water distribution systems, storm water so that you can modernize those other infrastructure systems so that you can make the most efficient use of the dollars already being spent,” he said.

Wisconsin is expected to get more than $7 billion from the infrastructure bill. $5 billion of that would be dedicated to highways and $225 million would go to bridge replacement and repair.

“It’s really encouraging some of this legislation coming through that has been so overdue for improving our systems that will ultimately improve our quality of life here in Wisconsin and across the nation,” said Brunoehler.

You can view the ASCE report card here.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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