After launching a pilot program to improve efficiency and streamline bridge improvements for local communities, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) today announced that the program this year will roughly double, expand to other roadway projects, and gain eligibility for federal funding.

 

In July 2019, the department launched the Local Program Low Risk Pilot project for 16 projects through 2022. Eight are scheduled for construction this year. The new program is adding 30 more projects that include bridges and roadways, statewide through 2025. The newly added projects are located in 20 counties in all five WisDOT regions. To qualify, these projects will create minimal to no impacts to right of way, utilities, railroads or the environment.

 

“Communities across the state are taking advantage of this innovative, cost-effective program that makes many local improvements faster and easier,” WisDOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said. “I am pleased to announce today that this pilot is expanding in all parts of Wisconsin to make our local bridges and roadways safer and more useful.”

 

WisDOT launched the pilot with input and support from the Federal Highway Administration and Wisconsin County Highway Association. Both groups helped to develop project selection and evaluation criteria and continue to provide quality assurance.

 

“This program is a proven opportunity for local governments to reduce costs and expedite project delivery,” Wisconsin County Highway Association (WCHA) Executive Director Daniel J. Fedderly, P.E., P.L.S., said. “I want to thank WisDOT for their cooperative efforts, which will benefit local governments for years to come.”

 

The pilot program reconfigures some pre-construction planning and design reporting requirements for local sponsors to save time getting a project from planning and design to construction. The pilot applies to projects that already had approval in the Local Bridge Improvement Program, the Local Surface Transportation/Rural Program, and the Local Surface Transportation/Urban Program. When the pilot launched last year, the projects were state- and local-funded. The expansion of the pilot includes opportunity for federal funding.