State road repairs face $650 million shortfall

Posted at 6:16 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-25 19:28:50-04
The roads in Wisconsin are in rough shape. They're so bad-- according to one report, they nearly get a failing grade.
Craig Thompson with the Transportation Development Association can vouch for this. 
"The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance gave our roads a D in 2015," said Thompson. "It was the worst grade on their report card."
The biggest problem is keeping up with the repairs. The state needs a steady stream of money to pay for the work. The shortfall right now is $650 million a year.
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele knows residents are aware of the problem.
"There are a lot of potholes and people are noticing it," said Abele. "The average cost to a driver in Milwaukee is $2,000 a year."
County leaders are now meeting with transportation officials to come up with some solutions. They say these rough roads can have a real impact on the bottom line for businesses in our state.
One solution being tossed around is increasing the states gas tax. Drivers have been paying the same amount since 2005 when a freeze was put in place.
Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow says that's part of the problem. 
"30.9 cents is the gas tax we have right now. It has stayed that way since 2005 and that's part of the problem," said Farrow."We didn't find a way to offset the freeze we put on that tax. This isn't going to be an overnight fix. We have to look at creating a true sustainable model that's going to get our roads back in good condition."