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Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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WisDOT Radio Newsline

April 18, 2014

“Green” initiatives will be in the spotlight on Earth Day (4/22) and the Wisconsin DOT is doing its part by incorporating a variety of recycled or waste materials into transportation projects. Asphalt pavements are routinely recycled back into new roadways, while concrete can be crushed and used as highway shoulder material, as base course underneath pavement, or as part of new concrete. WisDOT specifications allow several types of waste materials to be used either in or under pavements including asphalt shingles, pulverized toilets and glass, and industrial byproducts such as fly ash and foundry slag. Each year, WisDOT incorporates about two million tons of recycled materials into transportation projects statewide. Audio


Another great Earth Day idea is to consider riding a bicycle to work or school. If you don’t care to ride alone, now is the perfect time to register for a “Bike Buddy” through the Wisconsin Rideshare program. Between April 19 and the 27, new Bike Buddy registrants will receive a free, reflective arm or leg band. New registrants must be over age 18 and can register as “novice” or “experienced” bikers. Currently, there are over 500 registered bicyclists in the Rideshare program. Once registered, people can also track their financial and environmental savings. More info can be found at


The Merrimac Ferry has resumed its seasonal operation shuttling people and vehicles across the Wisconsin River as part of Highway 113 between Sauk and Columbia counties. Wisconsin's only free ferry holds up to 15 vehicles at a time — along with bicycles and pedestrians — and last year ferried some 270,000 vehicles across the river. The ferry was recently outfitted with new diesel engines that are more efficient and minimize emissions. The Colsac III is popular with tourists and area residents, and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week during warmer weather months. A one-way crossing takes about seven minutes. Audio


Federal funds totaling nearly $39 million will assist with 24 transportation projects to enhance public transit services, increase bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, improve traffic flow and reduce vehicle emissions. The awards are part of the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program. Only the 11 counties in Wisconsin’s ozone and non-attainment and maintenance areas are eligible for CMAQ funding. Awards provide up to 80 percent of total project costs, with the remainder provided by the project sponsors.

For more information, contact:

Rob Miller, WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-2405,

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Last modified: April 17, 2014

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