7/14/17 – Republican state lawmakers have unveiled their plans to put a shorter leash on the state Transportation Department. It responds to a critical state audit which showed that the D-O-T underestimated its costs for road projects, as highways deteriorated to be among the worst in the Midwest. The bill’s lead authors want big changes in the way the D-O-T designs and builds roads. The bill would also require referendum approvals for new roundabouts — potentially reduce wages for road builders by repealing a prevailing minimum scale — and have an outside firm audit the D-O-T. Republican Representative Joe Sanfelippo of New Berlin says the package seeks to streamline the construction process, cut costs, and address what he calls “serious problems” in the D-O-T. The agency says it’s already looking to be more efficient, and Secretary Dave Ross welcomes such ideas.