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Walker's transportation funding plan could benefit Northwoods Submitted: 07/04/2016
Phillips - Last summer, the state of Wisconsin committed hundreds of millions of dollars to reconstruct the massive Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee. That left some people here in northern Wisconsin upset, hoping more money would go toward fixing their local roads.

But Gov. Scott Walker believes the next state transportation budget, which will take effect next year, will be different for the Northwoods. Last week, he instructed the state secretary of transportation, Mark Gottlieb, to minimize spending on mega projects in southeastern Wisconsin.
"We specifically asked them to put more money into local road aids," Walker said. "We did it a few years ago, but we're going to have to put a fair amount more in. That will help us. It affects county roads, town roads, municipalities, as well as state highways, whether it's here in northern Wisconsin or elsewhere."

We spoke with Walker last week in Phillips. If the governor gets his way, his plan could mean more money for road repair in northern Wisconsin.

"My priority is I want to make sure that safety and maintenance are the focal point, not major new projects," Walker said. "We're not going to do, in the foreseeable future, any big projects, particularly in the Milwaukee area."

Raising the gas tax could bring in more money for more road projects. But Walker has consistently rejected a higher gas tax, unless it's offset by tax cuts elsewhere.

Written By: Ben Meyer

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