Wisconsin Construction Audit Leads to New DOT Budget Bill

April 5, 2018

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed new legislation Wednesday that will clarify how major project cost estimates will be reported to the Transportation Projects Commission (TPC).

The Kenosha News reports an audit report conducted by the Legislative Audit Bureau showed that Wisconsin's DOT consistently underestimated the true costs of projects, including disregarding inflationary increases due to delays and not including all costs associated with a project such as environmental studies, design engineering, and costs that are paid by another DOT program.

The new legislation will require the Wisconsin DOT to submit a semi-annual status report to the TPC that must include the full project cost estimate of each project as of the date of the TPC’s approval of the project.

That semi-annual report must treat each project separately and provide the following information:

  • Full project cost estimate of the project as of the date of enumeration
  • Year in which dot expects to complete the project as of the date of enumeration
  • Costs incurred as of the date of preparation of the report
  • Full project cost estimate of the project as of the date of preparation of the report
  • Year in which dot expects to complete the project as of the date of preparation of the report
  • An explanation of any difference between the full project cost estimates
  • DOT’s opinion as to whether the project will be completed as originally scheduled without the allocation of additional funds.

In addition, the rule requires the DOT to consider and document the results of the uniform cost-benefit analysis before determining whether to undertake a proposed engagement for engineering, consulting, surveying, or other specialized services.

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