TDA Fly-in Returns

My Perspective, TDA Executive Director Debby Jackson

After a three-year COVID hiatus, TDA was back in DC in early March.

I haven’t counted, but I would guess I have worked on 18 TDA Fly-ins. So, you would think it would be as easy as picking up where we left off.

I, at least, felt rusty. A lot of my go-to people in DC were gone. Our reception and dinner venue for the last decade was off the table due to escalating prices. And with the turnover in Wisconsin’s transportation community, we were ushering many new participants into this decades-old TDA tradition.

In addition, TDA was delighted to support a wrap-around event that brought five airport managers representing the Wisconsin Airport Management Association to DC to advocate for the timely reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration, amplifying TDA’s message.

These lost or new connections highlight what the TDA Fly-in is really about. Yes, we talk about federal transportation priorities with our delegation. But the Fly-in has always been an event to make new connections and build relationships. These bonds make us a formidable team whether we advocate for Wisconsin transportation in DC or the state.

Fly-in participants agreed we have work to do to ensure Wisconsin receives its fair share of the available Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), discretionary grant dollars. This effort is something we can all support. (See WisDOT resources below.)

Thanks to the participants and sponsors for a great return to DC.

Rep. Van Orden Leads a Behind-the-Scenes Capitol Tour

Rep. Van Orden took participants from several groups, including the TDA Fly-in, on a special Capitol tour. He shared this video on his Twitter stream. See if you can spot representatives from Wisconsin's transportation community.

Participants said this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It certainly was a highlight of TDA's return to DC.

Thank You Fly-in Sponsors

  • AECOM 
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin
  • American State Equipment Co.
  • Commercial Association of REALTORS® Wisconsin
  • Fabick Cat
  • HNTB Corporation
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139
  • Kapur & Associates
  • Mead & Hunt
  • Midwest Food Products Association
  • Miller-Bradford & Risberg, Inc.
  • SEH
  • Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association
  • Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association
  • Wisconsin County Highway Association
  • Wisconsin Earth Movers Association
  • Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council
  • Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association

JFC Schedules Budget Hearings

The Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) will hold four state budget public hearings in April. 

The schedule is as follows:  

Wednesday, April 5

Waukesha County Expo Center, Main Arena  

1000 Northview Road, Waukesha  

Tuesday, April 11  

UW-Eau Claire

Davies Student Center, Ojibwe Grand Ballroom (Third Floor) 

77 Roosevelt Avenue, Eau Claire  

Wednesday, April 12  

Wilderness Resort

Glacier Canyon Conference Center, Sandstone Meeting Room

45 Hillman Road, Wisconsin Dells 

Wednesday, April 26  

Lakeland Union High School

9573 State Highway 70, Minocqua  

The public hearings will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 5 p.m. Attendees must fill out a form upon arrival to be added to the queue to testify.  

You may also provide input to the JFC via its online portal or email The full committee will receive all electronic comments.

Wisconsin Transportation News

WisDOT Launches Online Federal Discretionary Grant Resources

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation recently announced online resources to help communities tap Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) discretionary grants.

WisDOT’s main BIL webpage has tips on the application process and links to federal resources available through other programs, including the Local Program.

Unlocking billions of BIL grant dollars requires successfully navigating the discretionary grant process. WisDOT’s online resources can help applicants contend for these highly competitive nationwide grants.

Here are a few highlights:

  • WisDOT’s Summary Guide of BIL Discretionary Grants – WisDOT summarized grant information and compiled direct links to the most valuable resources. The list is organized alphabetically by the federal agency administering the grant opportunity and has deadlines (including those that will reopen), program descriptions, and eligibility requirements.
  • Current list of Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) solicitations. 
  • How to Apply for a discretionary grant – WisDOT outlined the discretionary grant application steps. 
  • WisDOT’s Insights and At-A-Glance Calendar. 
  • WisDOT’s Letter of Support request to supplement a USDOT federal grant application.

WisDOT developed these online tools to help local communities, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions get much-needed infrastructure projects off the ground.

Contact WisDOT if you have questions. The department’s primary contact for federal discretionary grant funds is Jessica L. Wagner, WisDOT federal discretionary fund coordinator, (608) 267-6979,

Recently Announced Wisconsin IIJA Grants

In February, Wisconsin received notification from the U.S. Department of Transportation about the following discretionary grant awards:

Federal Aviation Administration Airport Terminals ProgramMilwaukee Mitchell Airport receives $5.1 to replace the flat roof areas over Concourse D that have reached the end of their useful life. The project's scope includes design and construction for removing existing roof material and installing a new roof. 

Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Program  More than $6 million in federal grants will be distributed to several Wisconsin counties and municipalities.

The City of Milwaukee receives $4.4 million to fund a project that addresses safety concerns for pedestrians and cyclists at 26 intersections.

The other grant recipients will develop plans to redesign roads, sidewalks, and crosswalks to make them safer for all users.

  • Milwaukee County  $800,000 
  • St. Croix County/Dunn County/Eau Claire County  $500,000 
  • City of Madison  $267,680 
  • Kenosha County $240,000 
  • Brown County  $200,000 
  • City of Park Falls  $144,000
  • Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians  $132,500 

Federal Infrastructure News

FHWA Issues New IIJA Guidance Memo

The Federal Highway Administration has rescinded a controversial December 2021 memo that was to “serve as an overarching framework to prioritize the use of BIL resources.” The espoused policy prioritized maintaining existing roads and highways and incorporating “safety, accessibility, multimodal, and resilience features.” While the document said states and other recipients ultimately select the projects, “this policy will inform decision-making.”

The replacement memo unambiguously reaffirms that states determine which projects to fund with Federal-aid highway formula dollars. Rescinding the original guidance allows the administration to avert a showdown with Congress over the original memo, which the U.S. Government Accountability Office determined in December 2022 is a rule under the Congressional Review Act and should have been issued through the formal rulemaking process.

TDA Outreach

TDA Podcast: Budget Season is Underway

Governor Tony Evers has submitted his 2023-25 State Budget. What’s in it? Why does it matter, and what’s next?

In the latest On The Go podcast, TDA Executive Director Debby Jackson sits down with political communications consultant Brian Fraley, the President of Edge Messaging, to discuss items of interest to those concerned about Wisconsin’s transportation infrastructure. They also explain how individuals can make an impact on the budget process. 

Listen to the podcast.

Association News

Thanks 2023 Organizational Sponsors

TDA 2023 Event Dates

  • TDA Drive-in: Wednesday, May 24
  • TDA Annual Meeting: Wednesday, Nov. 15

Industry News

MAASTO Annual Meeting Registration Open

MAASTO Annual Meeting

August 14-16, 2023

The Wisconsin Center, Milwaukee

MAASTO's Annual Meeting is coming to Milwaukee this summer and is an excellent opportunity to network and connect with some of the best and brightest in transportation. Attendees will leave better informed and better prepared to change the future for the people they serve. 

Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO) works to foster the development, operation, and maintenance of an integrated and balanced transportation system that adequately serves the transportation needs of the ten member states.

Event details and registration information can be found here.

Sponsorship information can be found here.

If you would like TDA to consider including your organization's update or event in an upcoming newsletter, please forward information to Luke Pearson

Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin

10 East Doty Street, Suite 201 | Madison, WI 53703

(608) 256-7044  |

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