July 1, 2021
The Honorable Pete Buttigieg, Secretary
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington DC 20590
Re: Strong Support for Wisconsin Department of Transportation RAISE Grant Application
Dear Secretary Buttigieg:
I write on behalf of the transportation infrastructure labor and construction organizations in Wisconsin to convey our strong support for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s (WisDOT) Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Obtaining this critical federal funding will allow WisDOT and its project partners – including the City of Madison and the Ho-Chunk Nation – to construct a highway interchange and related roadway improvements at a location where it is urgently needed.
This interchange, located at the USH 12/18 and County Trunk Highway AB intersection, is necessary for a number of reasons. First, two at-grade USH 12/18 intersections in that area, at Millpond Road and CTH AB, currently have very high fatality and injury accident rates. Second, vehicular traffic is projected to significantly increase at the Millpond Road intersection over the next several years, including a more than doubling of traffic projected to use that intersection due to planned development in the area. This will only compound the existing traffic safety concerns.
In addition to traffic generated by the development in the immediate area, the Yahara Hills Neighborhood Development Plan (and development plans throughout the far east side of Madison) project that many more additional jobs and residents will utilize this dangerous intersection to access the USH 12/18 corridor. In fact, the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board (MPO) has identified the Reiner/Sprecher/CTH AB corridor as a major regional arterial roadway in its Regional Transportation Plan 2050. This corridor is intended to move high volumes of vehicular traffic north-south from the Village of McFarland to the City of Sun Prairie, further emphasizing the regional importance of the CTH AB intersection with USH 12/18.
In conclusion, our organizations strongly support WisDOT’s effort to improve transportation safety and encourage orderly economic development in that area for many years to come. Our organizations’ members will benefit directly through this grant, in both the short and long term, through the labor hours it will produce for this project and the infrastructure associated with the economic development that will occur. In addition, given the project is in Madison, Wisconsin, it will also provide an opportunity to recruit and develop our future workforce and our efforts to grow the diversity of our workforce.
The Madison region has excellent economic development potential but faces great challenges and needs U.S. DOT’s assistance. Please give this grant application the highest consideration for roadway infrastructure funding. Thank you very much.
Jake Castanza, Executive Director, Wisconsin Building Trades Council
Jake David, Executive Director, Wisconsin Earth Movers Association
Andrew Disch, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters
Patrick Goss, Executive Director, Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association.
Robb Kahl, Executive Director, Construction Business Group
Chris Klein, Executive Director, American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin
Terry McGowan, President/Business Manager at International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139
Kevin McMullen, P.E., President of the Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association
John Schmitt, President/Business Manager of the Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council
Brandon Strand, Executive Director, Wisconsin Asphalt Pavers Association