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Federal-funded road construction work to start in May

Construction will begin in May and June on the Wisconsin road projects approved as part of the large federal spending package.

The first funds were released Tuesday.

The bill that balanced the current state budget last month also listed highway projects for the first $300 million in stimulus aid.

They include part of the planned re-building of Interstate-94 from Milwaukee to the Illinois line, two more lanes on I-94 east of Madison, and a dozens of projects statewide.

The smallest is an $83,000 maintenance project on Highway 8 near Turtle Lake.

All told, Wisconsin is getting $529 million in stimulus money for roads and bridges. About one-fourth of it won't be spent until next year.

Still, numerous projects have gone from wish lists to being ready now.

The first contracts will be awarded next month.

Tom Fisher of the Wisconsin Laborers' District Council says the stimulus will put hundreds of his members to work this summer. He says they include people who would have otherwise collected unemployment.