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Transportation Projects Commission advances four major highway projects

October 19, 2010

Wisconsin’s Transportation Projects Commission (TPC) today recommended that four major highway project candidates be “enumerated” or added to the list for construction in the next state budget. The projects include: a 45-mile section of I-39/90 in southern Wisconsin; a five-mile segment of US10/WIS 441 near Appleton; a nine-mile section of WIS 38 in southeast Wisconsin; and an 11-mile section of WIS 15 between Appleton and New London. 

"A quality transportation system serves as the foundation for economic growth and public safety," said Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle who chairs the 15-member TPC.  "We have made vast infrastructure investments over the past eight years, including the two biggest highway projects in our history and large-scale upgrades to roads and highways throughout Wisconsin. We rebuilt the Marquette Interchange, we are rebuilding I-94 from the state line to Milwaukee, and it’s important that we move forward with the I-39/90 project as another major entry into the state. As our transportation needs continue to grow we must continue making investments, like the projects approved today, to help Wisconsin businesses and workers remain competitive in a global economy."

The four projects being recommended by the TPC include:

  • I-39/90 – Dane and Rock counties
    This 45-mile project involves reconstructing and upgrading I-39/90, including the addition of a third lane in each direction between US 12 in Dane County, south to the Illinois state line to create a six-lane divided highway. The project will address growing traffic demands along this major travel corridor between Rockford and Madison that was built in the early 1960's. The 11 interchanges within the corridor will be reconstructed to meet current design standards.  The highest average daily traffic (ADT) along the segment is about 60,000 vehicles which is expected to increase to around 80,000 vehicles in the year 2030. About 30 percent of the total traffic load consists of heavy trucks. An average of 600 crashes occur along the corridor each year. The estimated cost of the project is $715 million (in 2010 dollars).
  • US 10/WIS 441 - Winnebago County
    This five-mile project between Oneida Street and County CB in Winnebago County involves expanding the existing four-lane roadway to six lanes between US 41 and Oneida Street. The project would also construct a new bridge over Little Lake Butte des Morts and upgrade the US 41 interchange to allow free-flow movements in all directions. The highest ADT along the segment totals about 60,000 vehicles and is projected to reach around 78,000 vehicles in the year 2030.  The project's estimated cost is $390 million (in 2010 dollars).
  • WIS 38 - Milwaukee and Racine counties
    This nine-mile project involves widening WIS 38 from Oakwood Road in Milwaukee County to County K in Racine County from two to four lanes.  As a north-south arterial highway, WIS 38 collects and distributes traffic from a network of east-west roadways throughout eastern Racine County and southeast Milwaukee County.  Crash rates along the segment are nearly double the statewide average for similar roadways.  The highest ADT along the segment is about 14,000 vehicles, which is expected to increase to 20,300 by the year 2030.  The project’s estimated cost is $125 million (in 2010 dollars).
  • WIS 15 – Outagamie County
    This 11-mile project between WIS 76 and New London in Outagamie County will expand WIS 15 from two to four lanes and includes a bypass around the village of Hortonville to minimize conflicts between through and local traffic.  Steady growth in the Appleton area has contributed to increasing truck and vehicle volumes.  The highest ADT along the segment is about 17,000 vehicles and is expected to increase to around 21,600 vehicles in the year 2030.  The project’s estimated cost is $125 million (in 2010 dollars).

Major highway project candidates undergo a statutorily-set evaluation that considers a project’s potential to enhance economic development, relieve traffic congestion, improve safety and achieve community objectives while minimizing environmental impacts.

To move forward, candidate projects must successfully complete an environmental review process. State law prohibits the TPC from recommending major highway projects unless funding is sufficient to begin construction within six years. The full Legislature and Governor will determine which projects to include in the next state budget projects that are not included in the budget would still be eligible for consideration in the next enumeration cycle.

The TPC is a public/private commission that reviews and makes recommendations regarding major highway projects in Wisconsin. Along with the Governor, the commission includes five state senators, five Assembly representatives and three citizen members. The Secretary of the Department of Transportation serves as a non-voting member.

Under state law, a major highway project has a total cost of more than $5 million and constructs a new route of 2.5 or more miles, adds capacity to five or more miles of an existing highway, or converts an existing multi-lane divided highway of 10 or more miles to freeway standards. More information about major highway projects in Wisconsin can be found on the Web at:  www.dot.wisconsin.gov/projects/state/sixyear/major.htm.

For more information, contact:
Peg Schmitt
(608) 266-7744, peg.schmitt@dot.wi.gov

 

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