Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

US 53 Corridor Preservation Study - Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Are you planning to convert US 53 to a freeway?

As stated earlier, this study does not provide any funding to physically convert US 53. The study only establishes the plan and official map that preserves the land necessary to ultimately implement the vision of US 53.

There are a number of possible future visions for US 53, one of which is a freeway. Other visions include intelligent traffic system and expressway enhancements and/or modifications. While it is likely that some segments of US 53 will be designed to a freeway standard, WisDOT cannot predict at this time whether all segments will become freeways or when that might actually happen.

When might improvements be made?

Without a completed study it is almost impossible for project dollars to be obtained since there would be no specific plan in place to justify project dollars. Thus, the study is the first requisite step in even being able to compete for actual construction funding.

How might this plan affect agricultural operations, emergency services, and other public services such as school bus routes?

WisDOT recognizes that the study must also examine the local transportation network to safely balance the access and mobility needs of the area. This includes looking at current agricultural, emergency services, and other public services such as bus routes.

The study team will also be in direct contact with representatives of all these concerns and will make every attempt to accommodate their needs and desires within the final highway plan. In many cases, access can be improved or at least maintained to current levels. However, it must also be understood that one of the impacts of freeway/expressway conversion is the replacement of direct private and public access points with selective interchange locations and overpasses. This in all likelihood will require some traffic patterns to be altered to achieve access to US 53 or over US 53.

How will this impact property owners?

Landowner impacts are of major concern on Corridor Preservation projects. The US 53 Corridor Preservation Process is guided by State statutes (Wis. Stat. 84.295), which authorize WisDOT to create and update an official map for future freeways and expressways. An official map allows WisDOT to preserve, protect and set aside future right of way for US 53 where freeway/expressway design is being planned.

An official map also informs and enables landowners, the public and local agencies to plan their future in ways that will be enhanced by the future highway improvements. WisDOT will map and preserve land required to upgrade US 53 under Wis. Stats. 84.295 including:

  • Interchange
  • Grade separations (overpass/underpass)
  • Removal or alterations to existing public and private access points, including driveways
  • Alterations, removals, or additions to the local road system

How does this affect property owners? Official mapping/84.295 does not involve purchasing of property. If a portion of your property falls within the area shown on the WisDOT official map, then you will:

  • Receive a formal letter from WisDOT informing you of this.
  • Have the official map notification recorded on your property.

The only requirement is that you must notify WisDOT at least 60 days in advance of any alteration to your property or any structure on your property within the mapped right of way. Upon receipt of that notification, WisDOT will make a determination to either purchase the property at fair market value or allow the alteration to occur. If the property is acquired at a later date, you will receive full compensation for the alteration. However, if a landowner makes any alteration to the property without notifying WisDOT, you will not receive any compensation for that improvement if/when WisDOT decides to purchase the property.

How can I get involved and stay informed?

Public meetings will offer opportunities for you to provide early input on the study needs and issues. A mailing database has been developed for this study. To be included in this mailing see the 'Mailing list' information below. If you currently receive this mailing, you are already included in our mailing database.

Mailing list

If you currently do not receive our mail or know of others who wish to be included, contact Marc Bowker.

Comment on alternatives

To comment on any or all of the alternatives, email Marc Bowker.

SSI - Project contacts Questions about the content of this page:
WisDOT Northwest Region Office, nwr.dtsd@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: July 23, 2014

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