Janesville group concerned interstate project may be cut in budget discussion

New bus transit route to run daily between Milwaukee, Janesville

A Janesville group says it’s concerned an expansion of the interstate may get axed this week in the budget.

Lawmakers are still wrestling with how to fund roads, but they have said they are considering cutting back on road projects to cut the total amount the state borrows.

A Janesville business group said any cuts could jeopardize a major road project.

In an email sent Thursday, Forward Janesville asked their members to contact lawmakers saying that the Interstate 39/90 expansion from the state line to Madison could be in jeopardy.

Gov. Scott Walker’s budget borrows more than a billion dollars to build roads, which lawmakers do not support.

After a groundbreaking in Portage Thursday, Walker would not say whether he’d support cutting projects.

“My preference was we put forward a package that would keep projects across the state on track and on time,” Walker said. “The Legislature has some concerns although, as I’ve pointed out many times before, the total level of bonded in this state budget is the lowest it’s been in the last decade.”

Walker has said he has made it clear to lawmakers that he will not support an increase in the gas tax or an across-the-board vehicle registration fee to pay for roads.

Lawmakers have discussed money for roads at various points in the budget discussion, but it seems to be one of the biggest points of contention in the state budget as the budget committee finishes its work.

As of Thursday night, it is listed as an issue the committee will decide on Friday along with the UW System, funding for conservation projects and an overall property tax cut.