In mid July, a week or so before this is being written, U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters has made available $1 million in quick-release funds to help pay for urgent repairs on Wisconsin roads and bridges damaged by the floods in June.
The federal government is making what Peters calls a down payment to help restore essential traffic routes so people can get to their lives and businesses can begin to recover.
One of the projects intended to benefit from the funds is Sauk County Hwy. A, which was washed out by the breach that drained Lake Delton.
Secretary Peters also said that her department would continue to work with officials from Wisconsin and other midwestern states as they assess the extent of road damage caused by the recent floods, and that more resources would likely be made available based on those evaluations.
It is great to see the federal government step in so quickly with the help needed to get recovery work started.
Kudos should also go to the team that is addressing the redesign and construction of Sauk County Highway A and Lake Delton.
The group, which includes WisDOT, the DNR, Dept. of Military Affairs, Federal Highway Administration, Sauk County, and Village of Lake Delton, seems to be taking a swift, yet well-thought-out approach that not only aims to fix the problem quickly, but will also minimize the possibility of having anything similar happen again.
It will be interesting to follow how this project progresses.
Honors should also go to the team that answered the urgent call to build a crossover on I-94 between Madison and Milwaukee during the flooding. This story, which will appear in a future edition of Western Builder, shows what can be accomplished in just a couple of days when the government and a team of contractors cuts through red tape and works together to address an urgent need.
The crossover restored some traffic flow between two key cities and cut out a 113-mile detour.
The general contractor on the project was Hoffman Construction of Black River Falls, but its president Jim Hoffman was quick to share credit for the success with other participating contractors such as paving contractor Payne & Dolan, and with WisDOT officials.
Be sure to enter your company's top project of 2008 in Western Builder's Project-of-the-Year contest sponsored by Case Construction Equipment. Entry forms are available at equipment dealers and online at http://westernbuilder.constructionequipment.com/.
The deadline for third-quarter entries is September 15, and the deadline for fourth-quarter entries is November 10.
One winner will be selected from each group, and one of those two winners will be selected as the grand-prize winner.