In a 2013 report, The American Society of Civil Engineers said more than 30% of America’s major roads are in poor condition and rated one in nine of the nation’s bridges as structurally deficient.
This negligence of maintenance and repair can cause an increase in travel times, damages to vehicles and it can cause accidents that result in injuries and fatalities.
After a harsh winter, it is clear Wisconsin’s state, county and city roads and bridges took a beating. Many people wonder, will it take a major tragedy, like a disastrous bridge collapse to get action from the State Legislature.
Non-partisan polls in Wisconsin show that residents and consumers simply don’t like gas taxes and because of that, Democrats and Republicans don’t want to talk about raising fuel taxes and don’t want to debate it as a campaign issue.
With many state races uncontested, why would candidates want to poke a bee’s nest? With consumers unhappy, legislators won’t deal with infrastructure upkeep issues until they are forced to.
Several articles on the subject have appeared in newspapers and I talked to former state legislator Jim Holperin of Eagle River for his insights and perspective.