Wisconsin businesses face many challenges in maintaining a strong infrastructure network. Whether by land, rail or water, a solid transportation system is integral to making Wisconsin the most competitive state in the nation.
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Wisconsin businesses face the following challenges in maintaining a strong infrastructure network:
- Federal transportation funding is insufficient to meet the demands of maintaining the current infrastructure network.
- In recent years, state transportation funding has been siphoned away from infrastructure needs and spent elsewhere.
- New federal rules threaten to significantly reduce truck drivers’ productivity.
- Business demand for reliable freight rail service exceeds supply.
- Some state restrictions on transporting over-size and over-weight loads by highway are artificially inflating costs to move these loads.
To address these challenges, WMC is actively pursuing the following reforms:
- Adopting a constitutional amendment to guarantee the integrity of revenues placed in the state’s Transportation Fund. The first consideration of this amendment was approved in 2011; the Legislature must approve identical language in its 2013 session before the amendment goes to voters for ratification.
- Preservation of freight rail corridors and more competitive freight rail service.
- With the continued increase in domestic intermodal freight, more facilities to accommodate this traffic will be needed.
- The 2011-13 state budget stopped the raids on Transportation Fund revenues and committed significant resources toward funding state infrastructure.
- The Transportation Projects Commission (TPC) convened twice in 2012 and approved six new projects for environmental study. The TPC had only met once during the previous eight years.
- A new overweight permit allowing sealed containers for international export was signed into law (2011 Act 56).
- We have succeeded in establishing a collaborative effort by shippers and Canadian National, including the CN Advisory Board, to move more freight via rail.
- Provide adequate revenues to the Transportation Fund for the 2013-15 state budget.
- Keep the Zoo Interchange and all Majors projects on-time.
- Increase truck weight limits for niche equipment like timber and agriculture.
- Ease restrictions on transporting over-size loads while maintaining high safety standards.
- Adopt an overweight permit for sealed containers bound for domestic markets.
- Support state acquisition of the Reedsburg Subdivision to ensure needed repairs keep freight rail service into Sauk County for years to come.
- Continue collaboration between CN and rail shippers on the joint projects agreed to.
- Form shipper coordination groups by rail line to ensure that service is preserved and density increased.