Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

Programs for Local Government

Back Back to Programs for Local Government main page

In partnership with local governments and other groups, WisDOT administers a variety of state and federal programs to complete projects that enhance our comprehensive transportation network.

The “Programs for Local Government” site is a “one-stop shopping” location for transportation-related programs WisDOT administers in conjunction with our “partners” including local governments, public transit systems and other groups.

WisDOT is directly responsible for about 12,000 miles of state, federal and interstate highways that comprise the State Highway System. In addition, the department works closely with some 1,900 local officials on efforts that enhance the approximately 100,000-mile system of county highways, town roads and municipal streets.

For example, along with programs that benefit local roads and bridges, WisDOT distributes General Transportation Aids to all Wisconsin municipalities – helping offset expenses associated with road construction, maintenance, traffic and other transportation-related costs. Other initiatives combine federal, state and local resources to develop bicycle and pedestrian trails, and can help complete decorative landscaping and “streetscaping” work in conjunction with local highway improvement projects.

Transportation coordination

Transportation services are provided in Wisconsin through a number of programs funded by the state and federal governments. Transit agencies, county governments, non-profit organizations, and private businesses deliver services to transportation disadvantaged individuals and the general public.

Local Force Account (LFA) agreements

Although WisDOT policy is to let construction agreements through a competitive bidding process, under special circumstances the department may negotiate directly with local governments for the performance of construction work. 

Wisconsin Information System for Local Roads

An important part of this state/local transportation partnership is having up-to-date information on the size and condition of the local road system. To help attain this goal, one of the LRSC’s first recommendations was creation of the Wisconsin Information System for Local Roads – a comprehensive Web-based data management system - that contains detailed information on Wisconsin’s local roads network. Compiling and analyzing this information will help state and local leaders make informed decisions regarding the short and long-term needs of Wisconsin’s local road system.

Public transportation

Public transit continues to play an important role in the state and local transportation scene. Wisconsin’s 81 public transit systems in both urban and rural areas rank among the nation’s best in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, connecting thousands of state residents to jobs, schools and other destinations. Public transit has played a major role in the success of Wisconsin’s welfare reform efforts. 

Recognizing transit’s vital role in helping communities meet local transportation needs, the “Programs for Local Government” site also reviews a variety of initiatives designed to enhance the state’s public transit systems.

Specialized transit

Specialized transit programs assist local governments and transit systems with operating and/or capital expenses to support public transportation services such as buses, vans and shared-ride taxi systems.


Maintaining and improving Wisconsin’s top-notch transportation network requires continued cooperation among federal, state and local governments, other groups and citizens. It’s hoped this site will serve as a useful “link” in connecting WisDOT and our local “partners” to help advance initiatives that build upon Wisconsin’s transportation foundation.

Questions about the content of this page:
Dan Thyes, dan.thyes@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: February 15, 2013

All external hyperlinks are provided for your information and for the benefit of the general public. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation does not testify to, sponsor or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on externally linked pages. Some pages contain links to other documents and media types (PDF, Word, Flash, Video, etc.) and require free plugins to work. Visit our software information page for assistance.