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.

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. 

Recent Accomplishments 

  • 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. 

2013 Goals 

  • 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.

Staff Contact: Jason Culotta    Follow Jason @JGCulotta