March 20, 2009Client Alert

Wisconsin Approves Additional $42.5 Million in Local Road and Bridge Work Funded by Federal Stimulus Act

In Addition to $300 Million in Highway Work Previously Approved

On Tuesday, March 17, the State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance, approved Governor Jim Doyle’s plan to spend $42.5 million in federal stimulus act dollars on 49 local road and bridge projects. Full legislative review is not required, so contracts for these projects are now ready to be let. The list Doyle submitted includes 19 bridge projects totaling almost $8.2 million and 30 road, bridge and other transportation projects worth more than nearly $34.3 million. The bridge projects have to be let in April or they could face delays ranging from several months to a year for various reasons.

These 49 projects are in addition to 47 projects worth $300 million from stimulus funds that were previously approved by the state legislature. In total, Wisconsin will receive $529 million in funds under the highway formula component of the federal stimulus bill. The state is focusing on the projects it can immediately undertake because of use-it-or-lose-it provisions in the economic stimulus package Congress passed last month.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation (“WisDOT”) released the special bid-letting dates, which are in addition to the agency’s regular monthly letting, for 58 state and federal highway projects designated to receive federal stimulus money. The projects were divided into April 28, May 27, and June 23 bid due dates. The April 28 letting includes all seven sections of the Interstate 94 expansion from the Illinois border to the Mitchell Interchange. The May 27 letting includes the Highway 41 expansion through Winnebago County and three bridges on Interstate 90 and Interstate 39 in Dane County. The June 23 letting includes Highway 45 projects in Washington and Fond du Lac counties.

All contractors, subcontractors and suppliers involved in projects funded in any way by the federal stimulus act should be familiar with the eligibility and project requirements of federally-funded transportation projects and additional requirements of The Act. Additionally, contractors and local governments need to be ready to take all steps necessary to meet the very short deadlines set by The Act and WisDOT.

Related Material:
Request from Governor Doyle. Memo to Joint Finance Committee outlining the plan for using federal economic stimulus funds for transportation projects.

This client alert is one of a series designed to provide summaries of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("The Act") and information and guidance regarding opportunities and relief made available through The Act. All of The Act client alerts are available on Michael Best's Stimulus and Economic Recovery Team publications page. For additional information on this topic, please feel free to contact one of the authors of this alert, or your Michael Best attorney.

If you are interested in learning about other provisions included in The Act, the Michael Best Stimulus and Economic Recovery Team is prepared to assist you in understanding the implications and in developing and implementing a strategy to secure the benefits of this unprecedented legislation. Specifically, we will assist you to identify opportunities, prepare appropriate proposals and make targeted contacts to secure funds. We will also work with you to ensure that your applications are tailored to meet your needs and that your funded projects proceed in compliance with award requirements and applicable laws.

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