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Highway Projects Bring Big Returns to Wisconsin,Short-term and After Completion

For more information, contact:
Laurel Cavalluzzo, TDA Marketing Manager
(703) 629-5693,


$3 billion economic impact and 4,100 jobs from four projects studied 

MADISON – October 6, 2015 - A new report released today by the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin quantifies the benefit of four highway projects on Wisconsin’s economy.  The report, entitled The Benefits of Modernizing Wisconsin’s Highway Corridors, details not only the short-term impact of the construction of the project but the on-going benefits to businesses.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Fiscal and Economic Research Center (FERC) was contracted to conduct analysis of the economic impact of the remaining amounts to be spent on the highway improvements and the growth of ancillary businesses in the affected communities.

“The report reaffirms what I think we all instinctively know:  improving the quality of our roads puts businesses and people in the road construction industry to work, but after completion, additional benefits accrue to businesses in the region from the more efficient access to markets,” said TDA Executive Director Craig Thompson.  “There are also benefits to the residents of Wisconsin, such as easier, safer trips with less wear and tear on their cars, but these were not measured in the report,” continued Thompson. 

The four projects analyzed are I-39/90 from Madison to the Wisconsin-Illinois state line, U.S. Highway 10/State Highway 441 in the Fox River Valley,  U.S. Highway 151/Verona Road on Madison’s west side, State Highway 23 between Fond du Lac and Plymouth.

Key findings of the report include:

  • The four road projects investigated in this study are expected to have a combined, short-term impact on Wisconsin’s economy of close to $3 billion from the construction of the projects.
  • The construction activity will lead to the creation of over 4,100 jobs in the state from the road construction industry and their suppliers. 
  • After completion of the projects, businesses will benefit by almost $185 million annually as a result of increased accessibility, reliability and road quality.
  • The increased business will support more than 1,700 jobs going forward.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation recently announced the delay, by at least two years, of the four projects in the study and one other project not included.

Looking at average annual construction inflation over the last fifteen years and the remaining amount to be spent on these projects, TDA estimates each year of delay could increase the total cost of the projects by $80 million.

“Delay of the projects will, of course, delay the benefits outlined in the report. Fewer construction companies working, means fewer jobs. Instead of benefits, many Wisconsin businesses will struggle to survive the lengthened construction schedule,” Thompson said. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The report is available on TDA’s website at:

About TDA
From the buses in Racine to the Port of Green Bay to the rail lines in Superior to the Waukesha County Airport to the roads we use every day, Wisconsin’s transportation network is the key to connecting goods to market and people to jobs.

Founded in 1971, the Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin promotes the vitality and safety of the state’s transportation system, including public transit systems, public-use and general aviation airports, railroads, commercial ports, and roads.  TDA’s members comprise business, labor, units of government, regional planning organizations, as well as individuals.  and Twitter handle @TDAWisconsin.

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