Future funding of I-39/90 uncertain because of budget

Work continues despite questions of future funding on Interstate-39/90 expansion in Wisconsin.

Despite concerns about no new revenue for highway projects in the next state budget, State Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, said there are eight projects from the Illinois/Wisconsin state line to Janesville, and five more from Janesville to Edgerton along Interstate 39/90 this summer and fall.

“We know that the projects that are contracted for, and scheduled for, will be completed,” Loudenbeck said.

The current budget allows for investment through June 30, 2017. When the legislature reconvenes in January of 2017, she said there will be ongoing conversations about how to fund transportation for the next biennium, 2017-2019.

“It is my hope we can come up with long-term solution so we can have confidence that the major highway projects, as well as state highway rehabilitation and local road improvements can continue. I am one of several members of the Joint Finance Committee actively working on this issue in anticipation of the next budget,” she said.

Major projects, such as the expansion of Interstate 39/90 from Beloit to Madison, already were set back on the schedule because of funding shortages in the 2015-2017 budget, and could face another wait of a year or more in the next. Wisconsin Secretary of Transportation Mark Gottlieb, in an interview with the State Journal, said he won’t ask for any major tax or fee increases in his upcoming budget request. The request will focus on maintaining the state’s bridge and highways, instead of expanding the well-traveled roads and preserving those lesser traveled.

Despite some setbacks, Loudenbeck said there are nearly 20 projects along the entire corridor of Interstate 39/90 that are funded, and in many cases are well underway. The following projects are from Beloit to Janesville and total $135 million in investment.

The Interstate-90 projects from the state line to Janesville being worked on this summer and fall are as follows:

• Improvements to the US 14 and WIS 140 intersection. Safety enhancements to WIS 140, which is a designated alternate route for I-39/90.

• Reconfiguration of the I-39/90 and WIS 11 (Avalon Road) interchange (Exit 177).

• Woodman Road bridge replacement over I-39/90, between Janesville and Beloit.

• Creek Road bridge replacement over I-39/90, near Beloit.

• Rehabilitation of the I-39/90 southbound bridge over Turtle Creek, near the County S (Shopiere Road) interchange.

• Construction of County BT to connect County S with County G.

• Alternate route improvements to Hart Road, between I-43 and County S (Shopiere Road), near Beloit. Replacement of the Hart Road bridge