NOTE: 2003 Wis. Act 214
, which affected this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.
See also ch. Trans 208
, Wis. adm. code.
A local unit of government is without jurisdiction to unilaterally change a segment of the state highway system. 61 Atty. Gen. 263.
Federal aid; state and local funds. 84.03(1)(a)(a)
All moneys granted or allotted to the state of Wisconsin as federal aid for highways and all state appropriations and other funds available to match or supplement such federal aid funds and so utilized by the department shall be expended by the department in accordance with the act of congress relating to such federal aid funds.
Funds provided by any county, city, village or town to construct, reconstruct or improve any highway, street or bridge with state or federal aid under this chapter, shall be paid to the department or to the state treasury as the department may require and shall be expended in accordance with s. 84.06
and the federal acts relating to such federal aid. The use of state or federal aid in the construction, reconstruction or improvement of any highway, street or bridge not on the state trunk highway system shall not relieve the county, city, village or town of any obligation to maintain such highway, street or bridge. The department may allot to any city of the 1st class any state and federal highway funds to which such city may be entitled for the purpose of the payment of interest, debt charges, amortization or retirement of street or highway bonds issued pursuant to s. 67.05
or other applicable provisions of law. Such cities may use such highway funds so allotted for such purposes, paying interest, debt charges and costs, amortization or retirement of such bonds.
On any highway, street or bridge hereafter constructed, reconstructed or improved with state or federal aid under this chapter, the location, form and character of informational, regulatory and warning signs, curb and pavement or other markings, and traffic signals installed or placed by any public authority or other agency shall be subject to the approval of the department; and the department is directed to approve only such installations as will promote the safe and efficient utilization of the highways, streets and bridges.
Federal appropriations adjustments. 84.03(2)(a)1.
“Amount of federal funds" means the sum of federal revenues received under the federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, as amended, or under a substantially similar federal legislative act. “Amount of federal funds" does not include the first $300,000,000 of federal moneys received by the state, pursuant to federal legislation enacted during the 111th Congress, for the purpose of reviving the economy of the United States, which moneys are intended to be used for transportation purposes.
“The schedule" means the schedule under s. 20.005 (3)
as published in the biennial budget act for the first fiscal year of a fiscal biennium and as approved by the joint committee on finance under s. 20.004 (2)
for the 2nd fiscal year of a fiscal biennium.
Subject to subd. 2.
, the secretary shall submit annually to the joint committee on finance a plan identifying how the secretary proposes to adjust the department's appropriations for that state fiscal year to reflect the most recent estimate of the amount of federal funds that the department will be appropriated in that state fiscal year. The secretary shall submit the plan by the later of the following:
Thirty days after the enactment of the federal legislation described under par. (a) 1.
for that federal fiscal year.
Thirty days after the enactment of the applicable federal appropriation bill for that federal fiscal year.
The secretary is required to submit a plan under subd. 1.
only if the department's most recent estimate of the amount of federal funds that the department will be appropriated under s. 20.395
in the current state fiscal year is less than 95 percent or more than 105 percent of the amount of federal funds shown in the schedule for the appropriations under s. 20.395
in that fiscal year.
After receiving a plan under par. (b) 1.
, the cochairpersons of the joint committee on finance jointly shall determine whether the plan is complete. If the joint committee on finance meets and either approves or modifies and approves a plan submitted under par. (b) 1.
within 14 days after the cochairpersons determine that the plan is complete, the secretary shall implement the plan as approved by the committee. If the joint committee on finance does not meet and either approve or modify and approve a plan submitted under par. (b) 1.
within 14 days after the cochairpersons determine that the plan is complete, the secretary shall implement the proposed plan. If the joint committee on finance approves a plan under s. 84.555
for a state fiscal year, the joint committee on finance may modify a plan implemented under this paragraph for that fiscal year.
Park East Freeway corridor cost sharing. 84.03(4)(a)
The maximum state share of costs for the project for the demolition of the Park East Freeway corridor in Milwaukee County, as provided in an agreement entered into on April 20, 1999, between the city of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, and the state, shall be $8,000,000, of which $6,800,000 shall be federal interstate cost estimate funds received by the state.
The local share of costs of the project described in par. (a)
shall be not less than the amount of $17,000,000 provided for in the agreement specified under par. (a)
, of which $14,450,000 shall be federal interstate cost estimate funds received by the city or county.
Improving state trunks; landscaping and acquiring wayside areas. 84.03(9)(a)(a)
Subject to s. 86.255
, that part of the appropriation made by s. 20.395 (3)
, not required for the other purposes therein provided, may be used by the department for the improvement and traffic service of the state trunk highway system and connecting highways, for the purchase and operation of equipment, making surveys for locating local road materials, testing of materials, and for other purposes provided in this section, and to match or supplement federal aid for the construction, reconstruction or improvement of the federal aid highway system, secondary or feeder roads, the elimination of hazards at railroad grade crossings and for any other highway purpose for which the state may match or supplement federal aid funds pursuant to any act of congress. Where such funds are used for the improvement of the state trunk highway system or connecting highways or to match or supplement federal aid they shall be expended in accordance with s. 84.06
and any applicable act of congress. Any funds expended pursuant to this paragraph shall be expended by the department on such projects within the provisions of this paragraph, and executed in such manner as the department shall from time to time determine will best meet the needs of travel and best promote the general welfare. Such funds may be used for improvements, within the provisions of this paragraph, independent of or in conjunction with other funds available for such improvements. Subject to s. 86.255
, the requirements of any federal highway act, or regulations issued thereunder, may be met from such appropriation.
In addition to the purposes provided in par. (a)
there may be expended by the department a sum sufficient, not exceeding $20,000, for marking highways as civil defense evacuation routes as requested by the secretary of local affairs and development prior to September 1, 1980 or the secretary of the department of administration on or after September 1, 1980.
Improvement of connecting highways.
All connecting highways shall be constructed or reconstructed by the state in the same manner as portions of the state trunk highway system. It shall not be compulsory for the state to construct or reconstruct any such highway to a greater width than those portions of the state trunk system connecting therewith.
Roadside improvement. 84.04(1)(a)
“Overlook" means a graded terrace, often enclosed by a masonry retaining wall, located on roadside areas where favorable topographic conditions provide an exceptional view or offscape from the road.
“Roadside" means that portion of the right-of-way not occupied by surface courses, curbs, paved gutters, or paved median strips or by other highway structures.
“Roadside improvement" means the application of the principles of landscape architecture to highway planning, design, location, and construction.
“Turnout" means an informal surfaced or unsurfaced parking space for one or more cars or trucks, constructed at selected locations on roadsides in open country for purposes of rest and relaxation.
“Wayside" means an area of land adjacent or in close proximity to the highway, with facilities developed for the convenience, comfort, and enjoyment of the motoring public, these developments to include parking, sanitary, cooking, and picnicking facilities, together with any other facility or improvement which the department deems desirable or necessary to accommodate travelers and provide convenient and safe access thereto by pedestrians and vehicles. “Wayside" includes rest areas.
“Windbreak hedge" means a narrow planting of trees or shrubs for protection against the drifting of snow or sand.
The department may construct and maintain parking areas, including car pool parking areas, waysides, overlooks, windbreak hedges, turnouts and carry on roadside improvement along, or in close proximity with state trunk highways. These activities may be performed within highway rights-of-way and upon lands otherwise publicly owned or controlled, or on lands acquired in proximity therewith. The department may acquire lands needed for such purposes.
At each rest area constructed and maintained by the department along an interstate highway designated under s. 84.29 (2)
, the department shall, subject to pars. (b)
, permanently display a POW/MIA flag on an outdoor flagpole.
If a rest area described in par. (a)
has fewer than 2 outdoor flagpoles, the department may display a POW/MIA flag at a suitable location indoors or, if the department determines after consultation with at least 2 of the state's veterans organizations that no suitable location indoors exists for the display of a POW/MIA flag, the department may display a poster or literature or both relating to the POW/MIA flag at a suitable location indoors in lieu of displaying the flag.
Upon receipt of sufficient contributions, including in-kind contributions, from interested parties, including any county, city, village, or town, to cover the costs of displaying POW/MIA flags or posters or literature as specified in pars. (a)
, the department shall display the flags or posters or literature. No state funds, other than from the receipt of contributions under this paragraph, may be expended for the display of the flags or posters or literature.
If a rest area described in par. (a)
has fewer than 2 outdoor flagpoles, any facilities improvement project at the rest area commenced after April 13, 2006, shall include installation of outdoor flagpoles so that the rest area has at least 2 outdoor flagpoles.
Railroad crossing improvements.
On a highway which the department has authority to construct and which crosses a railroad, if the department determines that the construction or reconstruction of a grade separation or the rearrangement or elimination of a grade crossing or other rearrangement of the highway or tracks is necessary in the interest of public safety or for convenience of public travel, the department shall make a plan of the construction proposed and an estimate of the cost thereof, including the cost of needed right-of-way; and shall endeavor to make an arrangement with all persons concerned as to all matters involved in the plan, including the portion of the cost of the contemplated work which the persons shall defray. If the department is unable to contract with the persons concerned as to the distribution and payment of the cost of the work or the maintenance thereof, the department shall lay the matter before the office of the commissioner of railroads, and the office of the commissioner of railroads shall review the proceedings and hold a hearing thereon in accordance with ss. 195.28
, and shall fix the portion of the cost of the construction and of the maintenance which is to be paid by the persons or corporations concerned, and the portion of the cost, if any, to be paid by the public, which portion shall be paid from the transportation fund. The office of the commissioner of railroads shall determine the benefits, if any, which will inure to other highways, and apportion and charge to the units of government responsible for the construction of such other highways a fair portion of the cost.
Highway construction. 84.06(1)(1)
In this section:
Subject to par. (b)
, “improvement" or “highway improvement" includes all of the following:
Construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and processes incidental to building, fabricating, or bettering a highway or street.
Highway operations or activities that are life-cycle or investment driven and that are based on an asset management philosophy in which taking action adds service life by preventing or delaying deterioration of highway system functionality.
“Improvement" or “highway improvement" does not include any of the following:
The installation, replacement, rehabilitation, or maintenance of highway signs, highway lighting, or pavement markings or the maintenance of traffic control signals or intelligent transportation systems, unless incidental to building, fabricating, or bettering a highway or street.
The department may prepare plans, estimates and specifications and undertake and perform all surveys, investigations and engineering work for any highway improvement within its jurisdiction. When provision has been made for the necessary funds for any such highway improvement and, if federal aid is to be utilized, when the project has been approved by the proper federal authorities, the department may proceed as provided in this section, with due regard to any applicable federal requirement or regulation.
All such highway improvements shall be executed by contract based on bids unless the department finds that another method as provided in sub. (3)
would be more feasible and advantageous. Bids shall be advertised for in the manner determined by the department. Except as provided in s. 84.075
, the contract shall be awarded to the lowest competent and responsible bidder as determined by the department. If the bid of the lowest competent bidder is determined by the department to be in excess of the estimated reasonable value of the work or not in the public interest, all bids may be rejected. The department shall, so far as reasonable, follow uniform methods of advertising for bids and may prescribe and require uniform forms of bids and contracts. Except as provided in par. (b)
, the secretary shall enter into the contract on behalf of the state. Every such contract is exempted from ss. 16.70
, but ss. 16.528
, and 16.754
apply to the contract. Any such contract involving an expenditure of $1,000 or more shall not be valid until approved by the governor. The secretary may require the attorney general to examine any contract and any bond submitted in connection with the contract and report on its sufficiency of form and execution. The bond required by s. 779.14 (1m)
is exempt from approval by the governor and shall be subject to approval by the secretary. This subsection also applies to contracts with private contractors based on bids for maintenance under s. 84.07
The department may designate the governing body of a city, county, village or town as its agent on behalf of the state to perform those bidding and contracting responsibilities under par. (a)
that the department determines are appropriate to delegate. An agent so designated who enters into a contract under this subsection shall do so on behalf of the department and the state, and the state shall be a party to the contract. Any such contract is subject to the conditions specified for contracts entered into by the secretary. The department may authorize an agent who is designated under this paragraph to perform bidding and contracting responsibilities under par. (a)
to administer the resulting contract on behalf of the state.
Contracts with county or municipality; direct labor; materials.
If the department finds that it would be more feasible and advantageous to have the improvement performed by the county in which the proposed improvement is located and without bids, the department may, by arrangement with the county highway committee of the county, enter into a contract satisfactory to the department to have the work done by the county forces and equipment. In such contract the department may authorize the county to purchase, deliver, and store materials and may fix the rental rates of small tools and equipment. The contract shall be between the county and the state and shall not be based on bids, and may be entered into on behalf of the county by the county highway committee and on behalf of the state by the secretary. Such contract is exempted from s. 779.14
and from all provisions of chs. 16
, except s. 16.754
. If the total estimated indebtedness to be incurred exceeds $5,000 the contract shall not be valid until approved by the governor. The provisions of this subsection relating to agreements between a county and the state shall also authorize and apply to such arrangements between a city, town, or a village and the state. In such cases, the governing body of the city, town, or village shall enter into the agreement on behalf of the municipality.
Special contracts with railroads and utilities.
If an improvement undertaken by the department will cross or affect the property or facilities of a railroad or public utility company, the department may, upon finding that it is feasible and advantageous to the state, arrange to perform portions of the improvement work affecting such facilities or property or perform work of altering, rearranging, or relocating such facilities by contract with the railroad or public utility. Such contract shall be between the railroad company or public utility and the state and need not be based on bids. The contract may be entered into on behalf of the state by the secretary. Every such contract is exempted from s. 779.14
and from all provisions of chs. 16
, except ss. 16.528
, and 16.754
. No such contract in which the total estimated debt to be incurred exceeds $5,000 shall be valid until approved by the governor. As used in this subsection, “public utility" means the same as in s. 196.01 (5)
, and includes a telecommunications carrier as defined in s. 196.01 (8m)
, and “railroad" means the same as in s. 195.02
. “Property" as used in this subsection includes but is not limited to tracks, trestles, signals, grade crossings, rights-of-way, stations, pole lines, plants, substations, and other facilities. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to relieve any railroad or public utility from any financial obligation, expense, duty, or responsibility otherwise provided by law relative to such property.
Any excess in construction cost over the funds made available for any piece of work, shall be paid from unobligated funds as the department may determine, and any balance shall be credited to the appropriation from which the work was financed.
Inspection and payment.
The department may provide for the inspection of each piece of work to insure its proper performance. All indebtedness incurred under this section for any highway improvement shall be paid out of the available funds subject, if federal aid is utilized, to any applicable federal requirement or regulation.
Contract for materials.
Whenever an improvement has been determined upon and provision has been made for fully financing the cost the department, if it concludes that a probable saving can be effected thereby, may contract for any or all of the materials to be used in the improvement and for the delivery and storage of said materials at suitable points, and pay for the same out of any funds available for the improvement.
As a part of any highway improvement or as a separate project under this section, cattle passes may be constructed at places determined to be necessary and practical.
Study required for highway development projects.
The department shall conduct a study of the costs and benefits of each major highway development project which is commenced after July 1, 1980, and funded from the appropriation under s. 20.395 (3) (bq)
As a part of any highway improvement or as a separate project under this section, a portion of a hiking trail, cross-country ski trail, bridle trail or bicycle trail under the management of a state agency, municipality or nonprofit corporation may be incorporated into the highway right-of-way, and facilities for safe crossing of the highway may be provided.
“Borrow" means soil or a mixture of soil and stone, gravel, or other material suitable for use in the construction of embankments or other similar earthworks constructed as part of a state highway construction project.
“Borrow site" means any site from which borrow is excavated for use in a specified state highway construction project.
“Political subdivision" means a city, village, town, or county.
The borrow site is located on a property near the site of the state highway construction project on which the borrow is to be used.
The owner of the property has consented to the establishment of the borrow site on his or her property.
The borrow site is used solely for the specified state highway construction project and solely during the period of construction of the specified state highway construction project.
The owner of the property on which the borrow site is located agrees to any noise abatement or landscaping measures required by the governing body of the political subdivision during the period of use.
The owner of the property on which the borrow site is located agrees to reasonably restore the site after the period of use.
This subsection does not apply to any borrow site opened for use after July 1, 2011.
Expenditures for intelligent transportation systems and traffic control signals. 84.06(13)(a)
The installation, replacement, or rehabilitation of traffic control signals and intelligent transportation systems, not incidental to another highway improvement, may be funded only from the appropriations under s. 20.395 (3) (eq)
, and (ez)
No later than September 1, 2014, and annually thereafter until September 1, 2019, the department shall prepare and submit a report under s. 13.172 (3)
to the standing committees of the legislature with jurisdiction over transportation matters on the expenditures from s. 20.395 (3) (et)
, and (ez)
and on any other pertinent information related to traffic signals and intelligent transportation systems.
The Department of Transportation may reevaluate a bidder's prior qualification or reject the lowest bid on the ground of irresponsibility of the successful bidder, but, in both instances, notice and an opportunity for hearing on the reevaluation must be given to the contractor. 63 Atty. Gen. 60.
Alternative project delivery. 84.062(1)(a)
“Alternative technical concepts" means a proposed alternative to the technical requirements provided by the office in the request for proposals for a project.
“Best value design-build contract” means a design-build contract award made following a calculation of value as provided in a request for proposals.
“Design-build contract” means a contract for a project under which the design, engineering, construction, and related services are provided by a single design-builder.
“Design-builder" means a private legal entity, consortium, or joint venture that proposes to or executes a contract with the office to design, engineer, and construct a project under this section.
“Design professional” means a person registered under s. 443.03
or a firm, partnership, or corporation registered under s. 443.08
“Design-build project" means a project for which design, engineering, construction, and related services are procured through a single contract with a single private legal entity, consortium, or joint venture capable of providing the necessary design, engineering, construction, and related services.