State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wisconsin > 82 > 82.08


82.08 Town bridges or culverts; construction and repair; county aid.


(1) Petitions. A town that has voted to construct or repair any bridge or culvert on a highway maintained by the town may file a petition for county aid with the county highway commissioner. The petition shall describe the location and size of the bridge or culvert and shall contain a statement that the town has provided the funds required by sub. (3).


(2) Funding requirements.


(a) Except as provided in par. (b), upon receipt of a petition for a bridge or culvert with a 36-inch or greater span, or a structure of equivalent capacity to carry water, the county board shall appropriate the sum required by sub. (3) and shall levy a tax therefor. The tax, when collected, shall be held in a separate account administered by the county highway committee.


(b) If on January 1, 2003, a county has a policy of providing funding only for bridges and culverts larger than the requirement of par. (a), the county may refuse to fund bridges and culverts that do not meet the minimum requirements of that policy. The minimum size bridge or culvert that a county is required to fund under this section may be raised, but not lowered, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the towns in the county. The county board of any county that has never granted aid under this section may, in its discretion, refuse all petitions under sub. (1).


(3) Shared cost. The town and county shall each pay one-half of the cost of construction or repair. In determining the cost of construction or repair of any bridge or culvert, the cost of constructing or repairing any approach not exceeding 100 feet in length shall be included.


(4) Emergency petition. Whenever the construction or repair of any bridge or culvert must be made without delay, the town board may file its petition with the county clerk and the county highway committee, explaining the necessity for immediate construction or repairs. It shall then be the duty of the town board and the county highway committee to construct or repair the bridge or culvert as soon as practicable. The construction or repair of a bridge or culvert undertaken pursuant to this subsection shall entitle the town to the same county aid that the town would have been entitled to had it filed its petition with the county board as provided in sub. (1).


(5) Supervision over design, construction, and cost. The county highway committee and the town board shall have full charge of design, sizing, letting, inspecting, and accepting the construction or repair, but the town board may leave the matter entirely in the hands of the county highway committee. The county highway committee and the town board must agree on the cost of the project and must consult each other during construction.


(6) Construction requirements. No county order may be drawn under sub. (2) for the construction of a bridge or culvert unless the design and construction comply with requirements under s. 84.01 (23).


(7) No tax. Except as provided in ss. 61.48 and 84.14 (3), nothing contained in this section shall authorize the levy of a tax upon the property in any city or village that is required to maintain its own bridges.


(8) Administration charge. The county may charge the towns that apply for aid under this section an administration charge. The administration charge shall be fixed as a percentage of the total costs of administering aid under this section and the percentage shall be no more than the percentage that the county charges the state for records and reports.

82.08 - ANNOT.

History: 1977 c. 190; 1981 c. 296; 1983 a. 192 s. 303 (2); 1983 a. 532; 2003 a. 214 ss. 140 to 145, 147, 159; Stats. 2003 s. 82.08.

82.08 - ANNOT.

NOTE: 2003 Wis. Act 214, which affected this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.

82.08 - ANNOT.

The county is obligated to pay its half of the cost of construction or repair of a bridge even if the final cost exceeds the amount the town requested in the petition. An estimate is sufficient in a petition for aid. Costs need not be determined exactly. Town of Grand Chute v. Outagamie County, 2004 WI App 35, 269 Wis. 2d 657, 676 N.W.2d 540, 03-1897.

82.08 - ANNOT.

The bridge at issue in this case was not a "bridge on a highway maintainable by the town" under s. 81.38 because the bridge aid petition did not request funding to help connect the bridge to a highway maintainable by the town, there was no existing highway extending to the planned bridge site at the time of the petition, and the bridge was not connected to a highway maintainable by the town upon completion. Section 81.38 requires funding for only those bridges built on highways in existence at the time of a bridge's construction. Town of Madison v. County of Dane, 2008 WI 83, 311 Wis. 2d 402, 752 N.W.2d 260, 06-2554.

82.08 - ANNOT.

Although a 2003 act changed the phrase "highway maintainable" to "highway maintained," this amendment did not change the substantive meaning of the statute. Town of Madison v. County of Dane, 2008 WI 83, 311 Wis. 2d 402, 752 N.W.2d 260, 06-2554.

82.08 - ANNOT.

NOTE: The above annotations cite to s. 81.38, the predecessor statute to s. 82.08.