Representatives from the Wyoming Department of Transportation gave a presentation to the Johnson County Commission at their meeting Tuesday, explaining what the department is facing now and in the next several years for funding and then in turn, projects throughout the state.
The outlook, according to their report is not good, and in the end they asked the county commissioners to help convince state legislators in Cheyenne to pony up more money to help.
Mark Gillett, District Engineer for WyDOT, asked the Johnson County Commission for its support in convincing the State Legislature to help.
Gillett told the commissioners that federal funding has remained stagnant for a number of years, although costs for doing the projects increased, which ultimately means there is less money available to go around.
Wyoming is unique, he said, in that WyDOT receives 86 percent of its funding from the Federal Government, 12 percent from state, and 2 percent from local governments. Other states, he said, are closer to a 50-50 split between state and Federal funding.
What that means right now, with cuts coming from the Federal Government, is that WyDOT has shifted its focus from a Transportation Improvement Program to a Pavement Preservation Program.
In other words, maintaining the good roads in a good condition, while other less-used and worse condition roads have to be placed on a lesser priority list. Interstate Highways and higher-use secondary highways have become the priority.
WyDOT is hoping that state legislators, with their surpluses, will help by contributing more than their 12 percent in the future to help with the gap in funding.