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Local community leaders discuss struggles with rough roadsSubmitted: 06/01/2016
Story By Ben Meyer

Local community leaders discuss struggles with rough roads
MOSINEE - This spring, Rhinelander voters approved raising their own taxes, with the money going to repair the city's cracked and rutted roads. Rhinelander's street struggles are not alone. The city is just one part of a bumpy road system across Wisconsin.

One survey found less than 10% of Price County's roads are rated "good" or better. Meanwhile, like Rhinelander, the City of Marshfield will ask for more money from taxpayers to fix ITS worst roads.

Those are just a few examples of the struggles in our area to build and maintain better roads.

Marshfield's city administrator says street quality is the number one complaint from people in his town.

"The long-term success is whether or not you can provide a good long-term surface 30, 40, or 50 years out that's going to be durable," says City Administrator Steve Barg. "That's the bigger issue, as opposed to just keeping up on the filling of cracks and the potholes."

People from across the area met in Mosinee Wednesday to discuss their own community's challenges with poor roads. Many complained last year's state budget did little to help transportation funding for northern Wisconsin.

"Some of the similarities we've heard is, one is, frustration. 'It shouldn't be this hard,'" says Craig Thompson, Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin Executive Director. "Other states are figuring out a way to fund their transportation system. Wisconsin hasn't been able to yet."

Wisconsin legislators delayed budget talks for weeks last year while debating the transportation budget. They ended up cutting millions from what Governor Scott Walker first wanted to spend.

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CRANDON - James Aldridge rides his bicycle for five hours a day between his home in Crandon and Rhinelander, where he works as a traveling nursing assistant.

Three men in Crandon decided to help James trade in two wheels for four.

Scott Brass, his brother Todd and friend Michael Renkas all started a fundraiser to buy Aldridge a car.

Their initial goal was somewhere in the $1,000-$2,000 range.

That fund now has roughly $16,000 in it.



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