TDA Newsletter  11/25/2019
TDA Annual Meeting: It’s About TIME

Members gathered at TDA's annual meeting to acknowledge the coalition’s accomplishments and to hear what’s next.

WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson and other speakers received a warm reception from attendees. Thompson talked about the 2019-21 budget and department initiatives. Other presenters highlighted exciting things happening in Wisconsin that would not be possible without the state’s transportation system – Golf Stream coming to Appleton, Fiserv Forum and the Deer District, and Wisconsin as a golf destination.

As the meeting concluded, the presidential gavel was passed from Allison Bussler, director of public works for Waukesha County, to Summer Strand, director of government affairs for the Walbec Group.

A thank you to all who participated in this year's annual meeting.
Thank You to Our Annual Meeting Sponsors

Alliant Energy

American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin

EMCS, Inc.

Fabick Cat


HNTB Corporation

International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 139

Mead & Hunt, Inc.

Miller-Bradford & Risberg, Inc.

OMNNI Associates

Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc.

Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association

Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association

Wisconsin County Highway Association

Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council

Wisconsin Towns Association

Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association
TDA's Latest "On the Go" Podcast: Wisconsin's Christmas Tree Industry
Just in time for the kickoff of the holiday season, Debby Jackson and guest Greg Hann, owner of Hann's Christmas Farm in Oregon, WI, and president of the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association, talk about the state's Christmas tree industry. With nearly 1,000 tree farms and 23,000 acres of trees, the Christmas tree market plays a vital role in Wisconsin's economy.

In the episode, Hann also explains the busiest times for Christmas tree shopping, the environmental benefits of a real tree, and what he and others in the industry are doing to enhance the experience for those who come to purchase trees on their properties.

National Apprenticeship Week
As part of National Apprenticeship Week November 11-17, Jackson interviewed Jessica Benson, a third-year carpenter's apprentice with Zenith Tech and Andrew Disch, Wisconsin political director for the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters. They discussed how apprenticeship opportunities help individual apprentices, participating employers, and the Wisconsin economy as a whole.

Listen to these episodes (and all previous episodes)   here .
Making the Connection with New Bus Service to Sun Prairie
In her latest In Business Madison Blog, TDA Executive Director Debby Jackson shares her experience taking Route 23, the new express route from Sun Prairie to Madison.

"Route 23 connects the two fastest-growing cities in Wisconsin — Madison and Sun Prairie. Three buses run approximately every half hour during rush hour Monday through Friday. The 23-mile service has 12 stops and takes 30 minutes or so."

This transportation option provides riders with a chance to take a moment to relax, read, or catch up on work.

"If you drive East Washington Avenue into downtown regularly, you already spend a fair amount of time stuck in traffic. So, the projection of growing congestion — let alone a doubling of congestion — probably makes you twitch. However, coming in from Sun Prairie, you now have another option, Metro Transit’s Route 23." More.

Dark dots: this month's activity
Gold dots: previous activity
TDA Making the Case

From Stoughton to Appleton, TDA has made connections over the last month.

TDA continues to reach out to civic and business organizations to talk about the state of transportation in Wisconsin. Staff is also meeting with members to solicit input and engage them in the plan for next year. 
Wisconsin Transportation News
December 6 Deadline for $75 Million Local Transportation Grant Program

The application deadline for the new, one-time Multimodal Local Supplement (MLS) grant program is December 6. Funds awarded may be used for multimodal transportation projects on the local system, including roads, bridges, transit capital and facility projects, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, railroads, and harbors. The program pays up to 90% of total eligible costs with local governments providing a minimum of 10% cost share. 

Listen to the WisDOT podcast about the program here and find out more about the application process here . The deadline for applications is December 6, 2019.
Status of the States
Almost 90% of Transportation Measures Pass
Voters in 19 states Nov. 5 sent a decisive message of support for transportation investment, approving almost 90 percent of 305 state and local transportation ballot measures.

In total, the 270 approved initiatives are expected to generate over $9.6 billion in one-time and recurring revenue, according to the analysis conducted by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ (ARTBA-TIAC). Read More.
Other Transportation News
President Signs Continuing Resolution, Repeals $7.6 Billion Rescission

On November 21, the president signed a stopgap continuing resolution that will keep the federal government funded through December 20 and block a $7.6 billion rescission of federal Highway Trust Fund contract authority.

The reduction of contract authority was included in the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and was scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2020. At the time the FAST Act was passed, the rescission was seen as a way to reduce the overall cost of the bill.

According to Federal Highway Administration estimates , Wisconsin would have lost $217 million in contract authority, casting doubt over future federal funding.

“The resolution of this issue comes at a time when states are preparing their budgets for the coming construction season, eliminating potential uncertainty that could have delayed important transportation infrastructure investments,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO executive director.
More than 55 Million Americans to Travel this Thanksgiving
AAA has released its travel forecast for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. More than 55 million people are expected to travel 50 miles or more to reach their destination this coming Thanksgiving season, which will be the most travelers since 2005. An additional 1.6 million people are expected to travel this year vs. 2018.

In Wisconsin, more than 1.1 million people are expected to travel during the holiday weekend, a 2.9 percent increase from 2018. More than 1 million of these travelers will drive (up 2.7 percent from 2018) and 97,000 will be flying to their destination (a 5.4 percent increase from 2018). 

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 27, to Sunday, December 1. Read more
Association News
Summer Strand, TDA's 2019-2020 President

Summer Strand, director of government affairs for the Walbec Group, was elected the Transportation Development Association’s 43rd president at TDA's Annual Meeting earlier this month. She will serve a one-year term.

Strand has been with the Walbec Group since 2016, previously serving as  administrator of the Division of Facilities Development and secretary of the State Building Commission for the Wisconsin Department of Administration from 2011 to 2016.

She joined the TDA Board in 2016.

Other members of the 2019-20 TDA Executive Committee include: 
  • 1st Vice President: Mark O'Connell, Wisconsin Counties Association
  • 2nd Vice President: Chris Klein, American Council of Engineering Companies
  • Secretary: Tracy Johnson, Commercial Association of REALTORS Wisconsin
  • Treasurer: Tim Peterson, James Peterson Sons, Inc.
  • Immediate Past President: Allison Bussler, Waukesha County

Thanks to all for their service.
TDA Welcomes New Member
Wisconsin Ready Mixed Concrete Association is committed to strengthening the ready mixed industry in Wisconsin & the UP through promotion, education, and legislation.
2020 Calendar of Events

Be on the lookout for information about 2020 event dates.
Happy Thanksgiving and Drive Safely!