Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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WIS 29 (County FF-County U) Freeway Conversion - Need/purpose

View looking down WIS 29.

Why is this project needed?

This project will help to preserve and enhance the long-term safety, operation and mobility of WIS 29.

Current traffic volumes range from 20,600 vehicles daily west of County U to 27,200 east of County FF. Traffic at these locations is expected to increase to 31,000 vehicles daily (a 50 percent increase) west of County U and 49,400 vehicles daily (an 82 percent increase) east of County FF, by 2034.

As traffic increases on WIS 29, the number of conflicts between vehicles entering and exiting from the existing access points on the highway will also increase.

Movements to/from the intersecting roads disrupt the flow of traffic as vehicles merge or cross WIS 29. Without improvements, crashes, especially side-swipe, 90 degree angle and rear-end, will increase.

Converting WIS 29 from an expressway to a freeway and limiting access will improve safety by restricting where vehicles enter and exit the highway and reduce the number of possible crashes.

Expressways and freeways

Expressways and freeways are both multi-lane divided roadways. The difference lies in how vehicles gain access to these roadways.

An expressway has at-grade intersections at major roadways.

  • This section of WIS 29 has numerous at-grade intersections at Brown County VV, County FF, County U, Sunlite Drive, and Woodland Road.
  • Each intersection poses a higher risk to drivers crossing or turning onto WIS 29. At lower traffic volumes, these are typically very safe.

A freeway only allows access at interchanges.

  • A freeway would improve safety for vehicles crossing or turning onto busier highways like WIS 29.

Intersections and interchanges

An intersection is where two roads meet at-grade.

An interchange has on and off ramps.

J-Turn interim improvements

Because there is no definite construction timeline for Project II, WisDOT has allocated funds to construct interim safety measures, J-Turns, at two intersections, County U and County VV:

County U

  • Turning movements from County U will be restricted to right-in/right-out movements.
  • WIS 29 traffic will still be allowed to turn left or right onto County U.
  • After construction, this intersection will have a configuration similar to the existing WIS 29/County J intersection to the east.

County VV

  • County VV will be modified in a similar manner as County U, but will also be equipped with J-turns.
  • J-turns will be installed in the median to allow County VV and Marley/Milltown Road traffic to travel either way on WIS 29.

Construction of these interim improvements scheduled to begin summer of 2013.

County U and VV intersection improvements (J-turn) map

Video - How a J-turn intersection works

Project benefits

Limiting access along WIS 29 will improve safety, operation and mobility of the highway by restricting where vehicles enter and exit the roadway.

It will also reduce conflict points and the likelihood of severe crashes.

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WisDOT Northeast Region Office, ner.dtsd@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: April 21, 2014

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