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We get more than we realize

For all those who like to mutter the oft-repeated complaint about how no money ever gets spent on roads north of Madison, consider: -- Loyal’s Main Street along State Highway 98 was totally rebuilt two years ago.

-- In 2021, Highway 98 between Loyal and Spencer will be rebuilt.

-- In 2023, the state will spend around $2.3 million to replace the decrepit County Road G bridge over the Black River at Greenwood.

-- In 2024, the state will completely rebuild 12 miles of Highway 73 between Greenwood and Owen, and when it was informed by local officials of premature deterioration of Highway 73 (Main Street) in Greenwood, agreed to extend that project.

We can’t know exact dollar amounts on those projects because some of them have not even been designed yet, but it’s safe to say those four alone will amount to $10 million in state transportation spending, and all in the central part of Clark County, which ranks only 41st among the state’s 72 counties in population.

Really? No money spent on roads north of Madison?

One candidate for state office with whom we spoke prior to the Aug. 11 primary election bemoaned the terrible condition of roads in these parts. Granted, there are always trouble spots, no transportation agency can keep up with every mile especially in a frosty environment, but we have to disagree with those who say we don’t get our fair share of transportation dollars back. It’s always easy to criticize those who make the decisions on where the money gets spent, and it makes an even better argument when news reports tell us how many gazillions of dollars are spent on freeways and interchanges around Milwaukee and Madison. But c’mon folks, just ask yourself, how many vehicles speed through those urban centers every hour, compared to the number that negotiate our single-lane highways.? That’s like comparing a flood to a trickle, 10 gallons to a drop.

One other point needs to be made here -- road-building is expensive, but nobody wants to pay for it. We suspect that those same people who complain about the north never getting its fair share are the same ones whose hackles rise every time a gas tax or vehicle registration fee increase is mentioned. Just think if we in Clark County were left alone to pay for all our road repairs by what we generate in transportation revenue. Maybe then we’d realize we don’t have it nearly as bad as we thought.

Members of the TRG editorial Board include Publisher Kris O’Leary, Editor Dean Lesar, and Carol O’Leary.