The secretary may approve the improvement of a transportation facility under this section if the improvement is a component of an economic development project.
The secretary may approve an improvement under this section only after determining all of the following:
Whether the improvement is a justified transportation need. An improvement qualifies as a justified transportation need only when the secretary determines that the costs of the improvement are substantially balanced by significant transportation benefits resulting from the improvement.
The ratio of the cost of the improvement to the number of jobs retained or created in this state resulting directly from the improvement or economic development project.
The number of jobs which the improvement or economic development project will cause to be retained or increased in this state.
Whether the political subdivision will contribute, from funds not provided by this state, not less than 50 percent of the cost of the improvement.
The value of the expenditures required for local infrastructure relating to the improvement.
Whether the improvement is compatible and complementary to other transportation facilities and improvements in the political subdivision.
Whether the improvement is unlikely to be made without assistance under this section.
Whether the improvement will be located in an area of high unemployment or low average income.
Whether the improvement will contribute to the economic growth of this state and the well-being of the residents of this state.
Whether a business that would be helped by an improvement is financially sound.
Whether the improvement would have a significant negative impact on other businesses.
The secretary may approve the relocation of a segment of railroad track as an improvement of a transportation facility if the land on which the track lies is necessary for the expansion or continued operation of an existing business facility and the conditions under pars. (a)
When awarding a grant under this section, the department shall establish a grant ceiling. Except as provided in par. (b) 2.
, the grant ceiling shall not be amended after the secretary has approved an application for funding. Except as provided in par. (b)
, the grant ceiling shall be the lesser of the following:
50 percent of the anticipated cost of the improvement.
Five thousand dollars for each job retained or created in this state resulting directly from the improvement or economic development project.
If the secretary finds that special circumstances exist, the secretary may increase the grant ceiling determined under par. (a)
The secretary may increase the grant ceiling determined under par. (a)
by $50,000 if the secretary determines that all of the following apply:
The improvement includes the construction, expansion or rehabilitation of a rail spur or other facility related to railroads.
The applicant demonstrates that the improvement will result in a reduction in the amount of motor truck traffic entering or exiting the area or community in which the improvement is located.
The department received the application for assistance under this section before April 27, 1998, and either the improvement was not completed by that date or not all reimbursements under this section were made by that date.
The department may reduce the grant ceiling determined under par. (a)
for any reason, including the following:
The grant ceiling determined under par. (a)
is based on 50 percent of the anticipated cost of the improvement and would result in a grant exceeding $1 million.
Grants for all eligible applications would exceed available funds.
Review of applications.
The department shall accept, review, and make determinations on applications for assistance under this section on a continuing, year-round basis. The department shall make a determination on each application for assistance under this section within a reasonable time after its receipt by the department.
The department shall promulgate rules establishing criteria for making determinations under this section. The rules shall include criteria to rank projects and make competitive selections, and criteria and procedures for the repayment of loans made under sub. (6m)
From the appropriations under s. 20.395 (2) (iq)
, upon the approval of the secretary under sub. (2)
, the department may make improvements to or provide other assistance for the improvement of a transportation facility under sub. (1) (d) 1.
or provide other assistance for the improvement of a transportation facility under sub. (1) (d) 4.
The department may make loans from the appropriations under s. 20.395 (2) (iq)
for the improvement of a transportation facility. The state share of costs for the improvement of a transportation facility, including any loans made under this subsection for the improvement of the transportation facility, may not exceed 50 percent of the cost of the improvement.
The department may enter into agreements with a governing body or private source, or both, respecting the financing of an improvement under this section.
Nothing in this section prevents the improvement of a transportation facility under other applicable provisions.
Ethanol production facilities.
The department may not make a grant under this section after July 27, 2005, for an improvement related to an economic development project that involves the construction of an ethanol production facility, unless the department determines a competitive bidding process is used for the construction of the ethanol production facility.
Exclusion of private roads.
No private road or driveway, as defined in s. 340.01 (46)
, may be improved under this section.
See also ch. Trans 510
, Wis. adm. code.
State repair and maintenance of highways and streets.
Damage to any county trunk or town highway or city or village street caused by reason of its use as a detour designated by the department or for hauling materials incident to the maintenance, repair or construction by the department of any state trunk highway or street over which a state trunk highway is routed, shall be repaired by the department. Such highway or street shall also be maintained by the department during such use. Subject to s. 86.255
, the cost of such repairs and maintenance shall be paid from funds appropriated and available to the department for the maintenance and improvement of state trunk highways and connecting highways under s. 20.395 (3)
History: 1973 c. 333
; 1977 c. 29
ss. 1654 (3)
, (6) (b), (8) (a), 1656 (43)
; 1999 a. 9
Controlled-access highways. 84.25(1)(1)
Authority of department; procedure.
The legislature declares that the effective control of traffic entering upon or leaving intensively traveled highways is necessary in the interest of public safety, convenience and the general welfare. The department is authorized to designate as controlled-access highways the rural portions of the state trunk system on which, after traffic engineering surveys, investigations and studies, it shall find, determine and declare that the average traffic potential is in excess of 2,000 vehicles per 24-hour day. Such designation of a portion of any state trunk highway in any county as a controlled-access highway shall not be effected until after a public hearing in the matter has been held in the county courthouse or other convenient public place within the county following notice by publication of a class 3 notice, under ch. 985
, in a newspaper published in the county. If the department shall then find that the average traffic potential is as provided by this subsection, and that the designation of the highway as a controlled-access highway is necessary in the interest of public safety, convenience and the general welfare, it shall make its finding, determination and declaration to that effect, specifying the character of the controls to be exercised. Copies of the finding, determination and declaration shall be recorded with the register of deeds, and filed with the county clerk, and published as a class 1 notice, under ch. 985
, in the newspaper in which the notice of hearing was published, and the order shall be effective on such publication. Not more than 1,500 miles of highway shall be designated as controlled-access highways under authority of this section.
Controlled-access highway defined.
For the purposes of this section, a controlled-access highway is a highway on which the traffic is such that the department has found, determined and declared it to be necessary, in the interest of the public safety, convenience and the general welfare to prohibit entrance upon and departure from the highway or street except at places specially designated and provided for such purposes, and to exercise special controls over traffic on such highway or street.
Construction; other powers of department.
In order to provide for the public safety, convenience and the general welfare, the department may use an existing highway or provide new and additional facilities for a controlled-access highway and so design the same and its appurtenances, and so regulate, restrict or prohibit access to or departure from it as the department deems necessary or desirable. The department may eliminate intersections at grade of controlled-access highways with existing highways or streets, by grade separation or service road, or by closing off such roads and streets at the right-of-way boundary line of such controlled-access highway and may divide and separate any controlled-access highway into separate roadways or lanes by raised curbings, dividing sections or other physical separations or by signs, markers, stripes or other suitable devices, and may execute any construction necessary in the development of a controlled-access highway including service roads or separation of grade structures.
Connections by other highways.
After the establishment of any controlled-access highway, no street or highway or private driveway, shall be opened into or connected with any controlled-access highway without the previous consent and approval of the department in writing, which shall be given only if the public interest shall be served thereby and shall specify the terms and conditions on which such consent and approval is given.
Use of highway.
No person shall have any right of entrance upon or departure from or travel across any controlled-access highway, or to or from abutting lands except at places designated and provided for such purposes, and on such terms and conditions as may be specified from time to time by the department.
After the designation of a controlled-access highway, the owners or occupants of abutting lands shall have no right or easement of access, by reason of the fact that their property abuts on the controlled-access highway or for other reason, except only the controlled right of access and of light, air or view.
Special crossing permits.
Whenever property held under one ownership is severed by a controlled-access highway, the department may permit a crossing at a designated location, to be used solely for travel between the severed parcels, and such use shall cease if such parcels pass into separate ownership.
Any lands or other private or public property or interest in such property needed to carry out the purposes of this section may be acquired by the department in the manner provided in s. 84.09
To facilitate the purposes of this section, the department and the governing bodies of a city, county, town or village are authorized to enter into agreements with each other or with the federal government respecting the financing, planning, establishment, improvement, maintenance, use, regulation or vacation of controlled-access highways or other public ways in their respective jurisdictions.
Local service roads.
In connection with the development of any controlled-access highway, the department and county, city, town or village highway authorities are authorized to plan, designate, establish, use, regulate, alter, improve, maintain, or vacate local service roads and streets or to designate as local service roads and streets any existing roads or streets, and to exercise jurisdiction over local service roads in the same manner as is authorized over controlled-access highways under the provisions of this section, if, in their opinion, such local service roads or streets shall serve the necessary purposes.
No commercial enterprise, except a vending facility which is licensed by the department of workforce development and operated by blind or visually impaired persons, or a commercial enterprise exempted from this subsection by an agreement under s. 84.01 (30) (g)
, shall be authorized or conducted within or on property acquired for or designated as a controlled-access highway.
Unlawful use of highway; penalties.
It shall be unlawful for any person to drive any vehicle into or from a controlled-access highway except through an opening provided for that purpose. Any person who violates this provision shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100 or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
A controlled-access highway shall remain such until vacated by order of the department. The discontinuance of all state trunk highway routings over a highway established as a controlled-access highway shall summarily vacate the controlled-access status of such section of highway only after a traffic engineer survey investigation and study finds, determines and declares that the vacating of the controlled-access status is in the public interest. Such vacating shall not be effected until after a public hearing is held in the county courthouse or other convenient place within the county, following notice by publication under sub. (1)
. The department shall record formal notice of any vacation of a controlled-access highway with the register of deeds of the county wherein such highway lies. When the county board, or county boards in the case of boundary line roads, by resolution enacted and filed with the department prior to the vacating of a controlled-access by the department, requests that the controlled-access highway be continued pursuant to s. 83.027
, then and thereafter all authority established by s. 83.027
shall be in effect with respect to such controlled-access highway, except that the county need not comply with s. 83.027 (1)
, and the department shall be relieved of any further authority for such controlled-access highway.
This section does not mean that once access is granted it may not be taken away. Estoppel is seldom applied against a government and would not be justified under the facts. Surety Savings & Loan Association v. State, 54 Wis. 2d 438
, 195 N.W.2d 464
Sub. (3) authorizes the Department of Transportation to change access to a highway designated as controlled access in whatever way it deems “necessary or desirable." In controlled-access highway cases, abutting property owners are precluded from compensation for a change in access under s. 32.09 (6) (b) as a matter of law. However, exercises of the police power cannot deprive the owner of all or substantially all beneficial use of the property without compensation. If the replacement access is so circuitous as to amount to a regulatory taking of the property, compensation is due and the abutting property owner may bring an inverse condemnation claim under s. 32.10. Provision of some access preserves the abutting property owner's controlled right of access to the property. Reasonableness is not the standard to apply to determine if compensation is due under s. 32.09 (6) (b). Hoffer Properties, LLC v. State, 2016 WI 5
, 366 Wis. 2d 372
, 874 N.W.2d 533
By allowing the Department of Transportation (DOT) to designate an existing highway “controlled-access" and to thereafter “regulate, restrict or prohibit access to or departure from it as the department deems necessary or desirable," sub. (3) grants DOT broad control over the entire portion of the existing highway that has been designated “controlled-access," including placement and replacement of access points. Because elimination of direct access points is a means of restricting or prohibiting access, it cannot be correct that the statute does not grant DOT authority to eliminate an owner's direct access points. Hoffer Properties, LLC v. State, 2016 WI 5
, 366 Wis. 2d 372
, 874 N.W.2d 533
Under sub. (1), it is the designation of a highway as “controlled-access" that must be “necessary in the interest of public safety, convenience and the general welfare" and that is an exercise of the police power. The designation as “controlled-access" serves as a precondition for the operation of the other subsections of this section. These subsections grant the Department of Transportation expansive powers after a proper designation of “controlled-access," including authority over how the general public and abutting property owners access the highway. Once the highway has been designated “controlled-access," the department may change the access points in whatever way it “deems necessary or desirable." Hoffer Properties, LLC v. State, 2016 WI 5
, 366 Wis. 2d 372
, 874 N.W.2d 533
The phrase “from time to time" in sub. (5) indicates that the legislature enabled the Department of Transportation to periodically change the terms and conditions by which any person — abutter or otherwise — has access to a controlled-access highway. Replacing direct access with a more circuitous route is inarguably a change of the “terms and conditions" by which an abutter is allowed to enter the highway. Hoffer Properties, LLC v. State, 2016 WI 5
, 366 Wis. 2d 372
, 874 N.W.2d 533
Sub. (6) eliminates an abutting property owner's right to compensation under s. 32.09 (6) (b) for a change to existing access at the moment the Department of Transportation designates the highway “controlled-access." Replacement access that results in a circuitous route rather than a direct one is a lawful — if regrettable — result of controlling access. Hoffer Properties, LLC v. State, 2016 WI 5
, 366 Wis. 2d 372
, 874 N.W.2d 533
The department may administer a program to improve highways forming convenient connections between the University of Wisconsin System and state charitable or penal institutions, and the state trunk highway system, or to construct roadways under or over state trunk highways that pass through the grounds thereof, or to construct and maintain all drives and roadways on such grounds or the grounds of the state capitol. Within the limitations and for the purposes of this section, work may be performed by or under the supervision or authority of the department, upon the request for such work filed by the board of regents of the University of Wisconsin System or the state boards, commissions, departments or officers, respectively, as to such work in connection with the institution controlled by them. The cost of any work under this section shall be the responsibility of the board of regents of the University of Wisconsin System or the state boards, commissions, departments or officers involved.
State park, forest and riverway roads. 84.28(1)(1)
Moneys from the appropriations under s. 20.370 (7) (mc)
may be expended for the renovation, marking, and maintenance of a town or county highway located within the boundaries of any state park, state forest, or other property under the jurisdiction of the department of natural resources. Moneys from the appropriations under s. 20.370 (7) (mc)
may be expended for the renovation, marking, and maintenance of a town or county highway located in the lower Wisconsin state riverway as defined in s. 30.40 (15)
. Outside the lower Wisconsin state riverway as defined in s. 30.40 (15)
, or outside the boundaries of these parks, forests, or property, moneys from the appropriations under s. 20.370 (7) (mc)
may be expended for the renovation, marking, and maintenance of roads that the department of natural resources certifies are utilized by a substantial number of visitors to state parks, state forests, or other property under the jurisdiction of the department of natural resources. The department of natural resources shall authorize expenditures under this subsection. The department of natural resources shall rank projects eligible for assistance under a priority system and funding may be restricted to those projects with highest priority. In ranking projects, the department of natural resources shall consider whether the project is for the renovation, marking, or maintenance of roads used for forestry management on property under the jurisdiction of the department of natural resources.
The department may administer a program for the construction, maintenance and marking of roads, including fire roads, service areas, trailer or vehicle parking stalls or parking areas and other facilities consistent with highway construction and for the marking of scenic routes in the state parks, state forests, the lower Wisconsin state riverway as defined under s. 30.40 (15)
, state fish hatcheries, other public used areas under the jurisdiction of the department of natural resources and other public lands as defined in ch. 24
, for highways or fire roads leading from the most convenient state trunk highways to such lands, and for the relocation and construction of state trunk highways in or near state parks when required in the interests of public safety. Within the limitations and for the purposes of this section, work may be performed by or under the supervision or authority or with the approval of the department, upon the request for such work filed by the department of natural resources as to the lower Wisconsin state riverway, as defined in s. 30.40 (15)
, or as to state park or forest lands, or by the board of commissioners of the public lands as to other classes of public lands. Outside the lower Wisconsin state riverway, as defined in s. 30.40 (15)
, and outside the limits of the park, state forest and public land areas, direct connections to the most convenient state trunk highway may be built or maintained under this section. Roads in unincorporated areas within 5 miles of the boundaries of the Horicon national wildlife refuge or the Horicon marsh wildlife area may be built or maintained under this section upon request of the town board, if the department of transportation certifies that such roads are or will be used by a substantial number of visitors to such area. Costs incurred under this section shall be the responsibility of the department of natural resources, commissioners of public lands or town board, as appropriate.
National system of interstate highways. 84.29(1)(1)
Department of transportation to cooperate with federal agencies.
The legislature of the state of Wisconsin hereby declares that the intent of this section is to assent to acts of the United States Congress heretofore and hereafter enacted, authorizing development of the national system of interstate highways located wholly or partly within the state of Wisconsin to the full extent that it is necessary or desirable to secure any benefits under such acts and to authorize the appropriate state boards, commissions, departments, and the governing bodies of counties, cities, towns and villages, and especially the department of transportation, to cooperate in the planning, development and construction of the national system of interstate highways that may be proposed for development in Wisconsin, with any agency or department of the government of the United States in which is vested the necessary authority to construct or otherwise develop or aid in the development of such system. Whenever authority shall exist for the planning and development of a national system of interstate highways of which any portion shall be located in this state, it shall be the duty of the department of transportation to make such investigations and studies in cooperation with the appropriate federal agency, and such state boards, commissions, departments and municipalities as shall have interest in such system development, to the extent that shall be desirable and necessary to provide that the state shall secure all advantages that may accrue through such interstate system development and that the interest of municipalities along such system shall be conserved.
Routes of interstate system, state trunk highways.
Upon finding by the department that the development of any proposed highway as a route of the national system of interstate highways, hereinafter designated the interstate system or interstate highways, or any portion thereof, including the laying out, construction, maintenance and operation of any part thereof as a freeway or expressway, is in the promotion of the public and social welfare of the state and for the benefit of public travel, the department is empowered and it shall have full authority to lay out, construct, operate and maintain such highway as a part of the state trunk highway system. Except as otherwise provided by this section, all provisions of law relative to the acquisition of land for highway purposes and for surveys, plans, establishing, laying out, widening, enlarging, extending, constructing, reconstructing, improving, maintaining and financing of other state trunk highways shall apply to the interstate highways undertaken in this state.
Changes in existing highways and utilities.
It is recognized that in the construction of interstate highways in this state to modern standard and design, mutually agreed upon by the department and the federal agency, to promote the public and social welfare, and benefit public travel of the state, and meet the needs of national defense, it will become necessary for the department to make or cause to be made changes in the location, lines and grades of existing public highways, railroads and public utility transmission lines and facilities.
Laying new highways for interstate system.
Upon finding and determination by the department that it is not in the public interest and that it is impractical to establish the route of the interstate system on or along an existing state trunk highway, the department is authorized and empowered to lay out and establish a new and additional state trunk highway for the interstate highway. As an interstate highway may be established, laid out and constructed on a new location as an expressway or freeway which is not on and along an existing public highway, no right of access to the highway shall accrue to or vest in any abutting property owner. As an interstate highway may be established, laid out and constructed as an expressway or freeway on and along an existing public highway, reasonable provision for public highway traffic service or access to abutting property shall be provided by means of frontage roads as a part of the interstate highway development, or the right of access to or crossing of the public highway shall be acquired on behalf of the state as a part of the interstate highway improvement project. The occupation or use of any part of an existing public highway is authorized for the construction of the interstate system. The action of the department relative to establishment, layout, location or relocation of any part of the interstate system shall be conclusive.
Construction of grade separations at intersections.
In the furtherance of the public interest and general welfare of the state and the traveling public in the development of the interstate system, the department is authorized and empowered to construct grade separations at intersections of any interstate highway with other public highways and railroads and to change and adjust the lines of public highways and if necessary combine or relocate the same to adjust traffic service to grade separation structures. The entire cost of grade separations and relocations and alterations of local roads as so determined by the department shall be a part of the construction of and financed as a part of the cost of the interstate highway. The department may by agreement with a county or municipality or by order summarily vacate or relocate any town, county, city or village highway as part of the construction of an interstate highway but shall pay any damage legally payable under existing law to any property owner directly injured by the vacation or relocation of such street or highway. The department is empowered to enter into agreement with the unit of government having jurisdiction over the local highway relocated or altered as a part of the interstate highway improvement with respect to maintenance thereof, and in the absence of mutual agreement to the contrary, such relocated or altered highway shall be maintained by the unit of government having jurisdiction thereof before it was so relocated or altered, except any parts thereof which the department determines to be useful in the operation of or for access to the interstate highway, which parts shall be maintained by the state, subject to s. 84.07 (1r)
, as a part of the interstate highway. The action by the department relative to vacation and relocation or combining a public highway under jurisdiction of any county, town, city or village shall be conclusive.
Power to relocate and close highways. 84.29(6)(a)
Without limiting the authority extended by other provisions of this section, the department is authorized on behalf of the state, to enter into an agreement with the governing body of any county or municipality having jurisdiction over any highway and, as provided in such agreement, to relocate any such highway or to close the same at or near the point of intersection with any interstate highway, or to make provision for carrying such highway over or under the interstate highway, and may do any and all things on such highway as may be necessary to lay out, acquire rights-of-way for, and build the same.
No highway of any kind shall be opened into or connected with the interstate highway by a municipality unless the department approves the same and fixes the terms and conditions on which such connection shall be made. The department may give or withhold its approval or fix such terms and conditions as it deems will best serve the public interest.
Powers granted liberally construed.
All powers granted in this section shall be liberally construed in favor of the state in the furtherance of the expeditious and orderly construction of any interstate highway project.
Establishing freeway status.
After adoption of an order by the department laying out and establishing any portion of the interstate system as an expressway or freeway, the highway described in the order shall have the status of a freeway or expressway for all purposes of this section. Such order shall not affect private property rights of access to preexisting public highways, and any property rights taken shall be acquired in the manner provided by law. No previously existing public highway shall be converted into a freeway or expressway without acquiring by donation, purchase, or condemnation the right of access thereto of the owners of abutting lands.
Freeways and expressways. 84.295(1)(1)
In the interest of promoting public safety and convenience and the general welfare, the legislature of the state of Wisconsin declares that the intent of this section is to provide for the development of a well balanced and integrated state trunk highway system further modernized and improved to adequate standards to provide needed increased traffic capacity, relieve the congestion on overtaxed existing highways, and otherwise more adequately serve the present and anticipated future needs of highway travel, and toward that end to prevent conflicting costly economic development on areas of lands to be available as right-of-way when needed for future highway construction.
Investigations, surveys and studies.
As a function in the improvement of state trunk highways and connecting highways the department is authorized to make investigations, surveys and studies of the present and anticipated needs for the improvement of desirable, probable additions to the state trunk highway system, and to otherwise carry out the expressed intent of this section.
Designating freeways and expressways.
Where the department finds that the volume and character of the traffic to be served thereby warrant the construction or the acquisition of right-of-way for the ultimate construction of a highway to accommodate 4 or more lanes for moving traffic and that such development is in the public interest, it may by order designate as freeways or expressways segments of state trunk highways having currently assignable traffic volumes in excess of 4,000 vehicles per day. The findings, determinations and orders of the department under this subsection shall be recorded. Except as otherwise provided by this section, all provisions of law relative to the acquisition or dedication by subdivision plat or otherwise, of land and interests in land for highway purposes, and relative to surveys, plans, establishing, laying out, widening, enlarging, extending, constructing, improving, maintaining and financing of state trunk highways shall apply to the segments designated freeways or expressways pursuant to this section. The “Hampton Avenue Corridor" in Milwaukee County shall not be designated as a freeway or expressway under this subsection.
Changes in existing highways and utilities.
It is recognized that in the construction of freeways or expressways to modern standard and design, to promote the public and social welfare and benefit public travel of the state, it will become necessary for the department to make or cause to be made changes in the location, lines and grades of existing public highways, railroads and public utility transmission lines and facilities.
Municipal utility relocation; freeway construction. 84.295(4m)(a)(a)
The state shall pay 90 percent of the eligible costs of the relocation or replacement of any municipal utility facilities required by the construction of any freeway undertaken by the department. The affected municipal utility shall pay the balance of such costs.
This subsection applies only to relocations or replacements that: