Wisconsin is in line for an additional $283 million in federal transportation aid in the current fiscal year.
The bulk of the additional money comes from the recently signed bipartisan infrastructure law. The Department of Transportation wants to put $123.6 million of it into the state highway rehabilitation program, according to a letter the agency sent to the Joint Finance Committee.
The letter noted an abundance of projects awaiting funding from the state’s main highway improvement program. That would make it easier to get the money obligated by September 30, 2022. That’s the deadline for the state to allocate the bulk of the additional federal money. Otherwise, it would risk losing the funds, according to the letter.
The agency also wants to put $83.8 million into local transportation facility assistance and $60.7 million into local bridge assistance.
Under state law, the agency must submit a plan to the Joint Finance Committee for review anytime federal funds are 105 percent or more of what had been appropriated in a fiscal year. The extra $283 million is 35.2 percent above what the state had expected to receive from the feds.
The pot of additional money includes $55 million that the federal government redistributed after states that had received the funds failed to use it by a deadline.
The infrastructure law was signed last fall with several resolutions approved earlier this year to allocate the money. DOT noted in its letter the state is still awaiting word on two smaller pots of money. But it wants Joint Finance to move forward on the plan now to avoid the risk of losing the funding if it’s not spent by the deadline.