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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, June 14, 2024

U.S. House approves $1 million allocation for State Street project

A provision granting $1 million to the city of Madison for the State Street Design Project passed the House of Representatives Friday as part of the fiscal year 2002 transportation appropriations bill. 




The congressional dollars would aid the city in beginning construction on the design project in spring 2003, according to Mark Olinger, the director of the city planning and development department. 




\It gets us started,"" Olinger said, adding that the city will ""spend most of next year probably doing the engineering."" 




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Olinger said the consultants who worked with the city on the project estimated that a redesign of the entire street would cost $15 million. 




Included in the design project would be most of the physical structures on the street, including paving stones, trees, bus shelters, lighting fixtures and benches. 




The city has also allocated $1 million per year over the next six years in its capital budget to help fund the project. In addition, city officials have said that funding will continue to be sought through state, federal and private sources. 




The design project is a component of the State Street Strategic Plan, presented to the Madison City Council in 1999 as a set of recommendations to attract visitors and businesses to State Street. 




Jerilyn Goodman, press secretary for U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, said Baldwin made a point of securing funding for the design project. 




""It's something that Tammy made one of her top priorities,"" Goodman said. ""It takes a lot of work and a lot of advocacy on her part."" 




The transportation appropriations bill must still be approved by the Senate and be signed by President Bush. Senate approval could come within a couple of weeks, Goodman said. In addition, she said there was no reason to expect any alterations to the State Street provision before the transportation bill becomes law.

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