Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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US 14/61 Improvements - Frequently asked questions (FAQ), Study process

FAQ - Study process | FAQ - Official mapping process

What is an official map?

Mapping is a statutory process (Wis. Stats. 84.295) WisDOT uses to protect and preserve right of way for future transportation needs. After extensive coordination with landowners and other stakeholders, a draft map is created. This map consists of one or more sheets of drawings that legally define and depict the location and amount of right of way needed. The right of way is broken into parcels based on existing property ownership. A public hearing is held for all interested persons to review and comment on the draft map. The map is then finalized and recorded in the county in which it is located. The mapped land remains in private ownership but a description of each owner's parcel is created and recorded so that all current and future landowners are aware that the map exists.

Why will WisDOT create an official map?

The lands through which the Viroqua and Westby bypasses would cross are relatively undeveloped at this time. The official mapping makes it easier to avoid or minimize impacts to homes, businesses, and sensitive habitat. Maintaining the corridor in the same relatively undeveloped condition until the bypasses are needed is advantageous. Future right of way acquisition costs associated with buying future buildings and improvements will likely be less. Likewise, the need to realign the corridor to avoid future developments will be less likely. Often, such realignments result in an increase in overall environmental impacts on the replacement alignment. Ultimately, mapping greatly increases the likelihood that the land needed for the future improvement will remain available and at a reasonable cost, saving taxpayers money and avoiding the need to move the proposed roadway somewhere else that is less desirable.

Because of the long-term nature of the proposed improvements to US 14/61, it is critical that the four-lane bypass “footprint” for both Viroqua and Westby and expressway improvements not only be identified, but also preserved for the future. The planned bypass corridors are not currently fully protected from future growth and development. Additionally, the corridors are also currently only identified as two-lane facilities and would therefore have to be further updated to allow for preserving land for a four-lane facility.

What will WisDOT officially map?

WisDOT would map and preserve land required to convert US 14/61 to an expressway under Wis. Stats. 84.295 including:

  • Four-lane right of way
  • Interchange locations
  • Grade separations (overpass/underpass)
  • Possible removal of existing public road and private driveway access points
  • Alterations, removals, or additions to the local road system

How accurate is the official map?

The accuracy varies depending upon circumstances. The accuracy of the US 14/61 official map will be the same as required for final highway plans. This will include the accurate location of all property boundaries and identification of current landowners.

What are the rights of property owners?

If your property falls within the area shown on the WisDOT official map, you will:

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

The only requirement from that point on is that you must notify WisDOT 60 days in advance of any construction on the portion of your property that is within mapped limits. This is defined as erecting or moving in a new structure, or in some way altering an existing one. Upon receipt of that notification from the landowner, WisDOT will make a determination to either purchase the property at fair market value or allow the proposed private alteration to occur. If the property is acquired at a later date, the owner will receive full compensation for the alteration.

If a landowner makes any alteration to the mapped portion of the property without providing this notification, WisDOT is not required to compensate the owner for that improvement if/when WisDOT decides to purchase the property.

What if I want to sell my property?

Having your property on an official map doesn’t affect your right to sell the property. Sellers should disclose to prospective buyers that the property is on an official map. Once officially mapped and recorded, a title search for the property should also identify it as being officially mapped.

Example of an Official Map

For more information about this study, contact:

Paul Wydeven, WisDOT Project Manager
WisDOT Southwest Region
2101 Wright Street
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 246-7910

Back Back to Segment 1 (Westby to Viroqua, four-lane divided highway)

Back Back to Segment 2 (Westby Bypass)

Back Back to Segment 3 (Viroqua Bypass)

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SSI Contact Questions about the content of this page, contact:
WisDOT Southwest Region Office-Madison, swr.dtsd@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: June 24, 2013

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