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Author Topic: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun  (Read 1188 times)

peterj920

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Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« on: May 25, 2022, 12:22:38 AM »

Wis 26 being routed through Waupun along with the Wis 26/US 151 North Interchange are two mysterious decisions by WISDOT. The swooping Wis 26 northbound ramp is a great design. However, the 4 lane roads that lead to the South Frontage Road is very strange. Just about all of the traffic heading south on Wis 26 has to exit off the mainline onto a single lane ramp to US 151 south and Wis 26 north has to merge onto a roadway with almost no traffic. The only logical explanation of the pointless 4 lane roadway to the south frontage road was that WISDOT was proposing a new alignment of Wis 26 in the future.

As for Wis 26 through Waupun, the routing through town makes no sense as just about every other state highway runs along a bypass if available. Running Wis 26 along US 151 makes more sense but Iím guessing some local influence is stopping that from happening. 
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thspfc

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2022, 08:10:02 AM »

It really is bizarre. Iím guessing the four lane road south of 151 was built in anticipation of commercial development there, which never happened. But why does Oak Center Rd need its own flyover and exit ramp off 151? Are the BUS-151 exits even necessary? Why does WI-26 still go through the town? If itís because of local pushback, I donít understand why; anyone who is even oblivious enough to follow 26 through town the first time will realize that 151 is the fastest route immediately.

And of course, Waupunís major exit is none of these. Itís WI-49.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2022, 09:09:11 AM »

I don't know anything about why the design for that north interchange is the way it is, but I would lean more toward the "anticipated commercial development" reason rather than the "potential re-routing" reason.

As for WI-26's strange routing through town, I have a feeling that is going to be addressed in the next decade or so.  WIDOT is looking at improvement projects along WI-26 all the way from the Waupun limits to Juneau.

https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/by-region/sw/wis26-dodge/default.aspx
https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/by-region/sw/wis26-burnett/default.aspx
https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/by-region/sw/wis26-juneau/default.aspx

It's no secret that oftentimes these projects are pre-cursors to transitioning jurisdiction to the county, but that isn't mentioned at all on the project pages or the presentations that I could find.

I think the most logical relocation of WI-26 is to Dodge County A.  I could also see a different state highway added for current WI-26 between County A and WI-33 with the section between WI-33 and US-151 decommissioned.  Juneau is the county seat and probably should have state highway access.
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thspfc

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2022, 12:24:31 PM »

I don't know anything about why the design for that north interchange is the way it is, but I would lean more toward the "anticipated commercial development" reason rather than the "potential re-routing" reason.

As for WI-26's strange routing through town, I have a feeling that is going to be addressed in the next decade or so.  WIDOT is looking at improvement projects along WI-26 all the way from the Waupun limits to Juneau.

https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/by-region/sw/wis26-dodge/default.aspx
https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/by-region/sw/wis26-burnett/default.aspx
https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/by-region/sw/wis26-juneau/default.aspx

It's no secret that oftentimes these projects are pre-cursors to transitioning jurisdiction to the county, but that isn't mentioned at all on the project pages or the presentations that I could find.

I think the most logical relocation of WI-26 is to Dodge County A.  I could also see a different state highway added for current WI-26 between County A and WI-33 with the section between WI-33 and US-151 decommissioned.  Juneau is the county seat and probably should have state highway access.
Puzzling that Juneau is the county seat despite being the 4th largest community that is fully within Dodge County (and 1/8th the size of Beaver Dam).
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mgk920

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2022, 01:40:13 PM »

The City of Waupun and Dodge/Fond du Lac Counties didn't want to take that part of WI 26 over from WisDOT?

Mike
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SEWIGuy

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2022, 02:28:22 PM »

I don't know anything about why the design for that north interchange is the way it is, but I would lean more toward the "anticipated commercial development" reason rather than the "potential re-routing" reason.

As for WI-26's strange routing through town, I have a feeling that is going to be addressed in the next decade or so.  WIDOT is looking at improvement projects along WI-26 all the way from the Waupun limits to Juneau.

https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/by-region/sw/wis26-dodge/default.aspx
https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/by-region/sw/wis26-burnett/default.aspx
https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/by-region/sw/wis26-juneau/default.aspx

It's no secret that oftentimes these projects are pre-cursors to transitioning jurisdiction to the county, but that isn't mentioned at all on the project pages or the presentations that I could find.

I think the most logical relocation of WI-26 is to Dodge County A.  I could also see a different state highway added for current WI-26 between County A and WI-33 with the section between WI-33 and US-151 decommissioned.  Juneau is the county seat and probably should have state highway access.
Puzzling that Juneau is the county seat despite being the 4th largest community that is fully within Dodge County (and 1/8th the size of Beaver Dam).


It's smack dab in the middle of Dodge County and has been the seat since the county was created in the 1830s.  I guess they just haven't found a reason to move it.

It's also one of two county seats in Wisconsin that aren't the seats of the county of the same name.  The other being Portage.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2022, 07:24:58 PM »

The time to relocate STH 26 from its in-town route would have been in 1962, when the 2-lane US 151 bypass opened. Since STH 26 has remained on its through-town alignment to this day, I highly doubt it will ever be relocated onto US 151 between Exit 144 and Exit 147, as logical as it may seem.
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JREwing78

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2022, 11:01:21 PM »

Came across this EIS for the expressway/freeway build of US-151 between Waupun and Fond du Lac dating from 1992.
https://trust.dot.state.wi.us/ftp/dtsd/bts/environment/library/1420-06-00-F.pdf

From what I saw when I glanced over it, the eastern Hwy 26 interchange was indeed built the way it was to ensure connectivity back to the frontage road, and not for any intent to extend Hwy 26 south of that interchange. It is most certainly overbuilt for the traffic it currently sees to and from the frontage road, and unlikely to receive major development that would overwhelm the interchange anytime soon.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2022, 09:29:40 AM »

The time to relocate STH 26 from its in-town route would have been in 1962, when the 2-lane US 151 bypass opened. Since STH 26 has remained on its through-town alignment to this day, I highly doubt it will ever be relocated onto US 151 between Exit 144 and Exit 147, as logical as it may seem.


<sigh>

You are probably correct.  I just wish the state would use the state highway system primarily as a means of navigation and not so tightly tie such designations with funding.

If I am driving from Watertown to Oshkosh, the preferred route would be WI-26 to County A to US-151 to WI-26.  Having WI-26 follow that route, versus following a relatively unused section of WI-26 between Juneau and Waupun, and then going through Waupun when a perfectly good bypass exists, makes sense to me.  Just looking at the traffic count map, there are twice as many vehicles on County A on a normal day than WI-26.
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jwags

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2022, 10:14:22 AM »

The time to relocate STH 26 from its in-town route would have been in 1962, when the 2-lane US 151 bypass opened. Since STH 26 has remained on its through-town alignment to this day, I highly doubt it will ever be relocated onto US 151 between Exit 144 and Exit 147, as logical as it may seem.


<sigh>

You are probably correct.  I just wish the state would use the state highway system primarily as a means of navigation and not so tightly tie such designations with funding.

If I am driving from Watertown to Oshkosh, the preferred route would be WI-26 to County A to US-151 to WI-26.  Having WI-26 follow that route, versus following a relatively unused section of WI-26 between Juneau and Waupun, and then going through Waupun when a perfectly good bypass exists, makes sense to me.  Just looking at the traffic count map, there are twice as many vehicles on County A on a normal day than WI-26.

I travel that way often and it's so noticeable that most vehicles turn on to CTH-A that you can clearly see tire marks for the left turn movement.
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thspfc

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2022, 12:25:35 PM »

The time to relocate STH 26 from its in-town route would have been in 1962, when the 2-lane US 151 bypass opened. Since STH 26 has remained on its through-town alignment to this day, I highly doubt it will ever be relocated onto US 151 between Exit 144 and Exit 147, as logical as it may seem.


<sigh>

You are probably correct.  I just wish the state would use the state highway system primarily as a means of navigation and not so tightly tie such designations with funding.

If I am driving from Watertown to Oshkosh, the preferred route would be WI-26 to County A to US-151 to WI-26.  Having WI-26 follow that route, versus following a relatively unused section of WI-26 between Juneau and Waupun, and then going through Waupun when a perfectly good bypass exists, makes sense to me.  Just looking at the traffic count map, there are twice as many vehicles on County A on a normal day than WI-26.

I travel that way often and it's so noticeable that most vehicles turn on to CTH-A that you can clearly see tire marks for the left turn movement.
https://www.google.com/maps/@43.3649886,-88.7369592,3a,59.6y,15.36h,80.37t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sYT_bdNGOXRilrQWud-AcWg!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3DYT_bdNGOXRilrQWud-AcWg%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D116.664986%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

Wow
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peterj920

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2022, 06:58:31 PM »

The time to relocate STH 26 from its in-town route would have been in 1962, when the 2-lane US 151 bypass opened. Since STH 26 has remained on its through-town alignment to this day, I highly doubt it will ever be relocated onto US 151 between Exit 144 and Exit 147, as logical as it may seem.

Never say never. In nearby Fond Du Lac US 45 was rerouted after WISDOT rebuilt the former alignment between US 45 and Wis 23. Bus 51 through Stevens Point was a state maintained route but WISDOT agreed to rebuild it in exchange for turning it back to the city.

In urban areas, the state routes are considered connecting highways where the cities make the traffic control decisions such as traffic signals, painting the lines and some signs. WISDOT gives connecting highway funds to them for maintenance. WISDOT has a webpage dedicated to them and here is a link along with maps of each municipality. Theyíre mainly in cities and very few villages have connecting highways.

https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/data-plan/plan-res/connecting.aspx
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GeekJedi

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2022, 07:34:24 PM »

Plus, they can get back some of those juicy highway miles to use somewhere else!
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SEWIGuy

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2022, 08:03:22 PM »

The time to relocate STH 26 from its in-town route would have been in 1962, when the 2-lane US 151 bypass opened. Since STH 26 has remained on its through-town alignment to this day, I highly doubt it will ever be relocated onto US 151 between Exit 144 and Exit 147, as logical as it may seem.

Never say never. In nearby Fond Du Lac US 45 was rerouted after WISDOT rebuilt the former alignment between US 45 and Wis 23. Bus 51 through Stevens Point was a state maintained route but WISDOT agreed to rebuild it in exchange for turning it back to the city.

In urban areas, the state routes are considered connecting highways where the cities make the traffic control decisions such as traffic signals, painting the lines and some signs. WISDOT gives connecting highway funds to them for maintenance. WISDOT has a webpage dedicated to them and here is a link along with maps of each municipality. Theyíre mainly in cities and very few villages have connecting highways.

https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/projects/data-plan/plan-res/connecting.aspx

But US-45 in Fond du Lac is the poster child of a ridiculous re-route.  They took about 3.5 miles off FdL streets, but in the process lengthened the route by seven miles.  Of course it doesn't count against the mileage because it is multiplexed the entire way.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2022, 11:07:17 PM »

I think US 45 should have been co-designated with Interstate/US 41 from Exit 95 all the way to Exit 120 in Oshkosh. STH 76 could have instead been extended southward from Oshkosh to STH 23 in Fond du Lac (with STH 21 being re-extended to its orignial terminus at the W. Murdock Ave./Jackson St. intersection, or extending it northwest-ward along Algoma Blvd. to Interstate/US 41). The alternative would have been making 45 a county highway, or making it a local road.
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skluth

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2022, 11:43:11 AM »

I think US 45 should have been co-designated with Interstate/US 41 from Exit 95 all the way to Exit 120 in Oshkosh. STH 76 could have instead been extended southward from Oshkosh to STH 23 in Fond du Lac (with STH 21 being re-extended to its orignial terminus at the W. Murdock Ave./Jackson St. intersection, or extending it northwest-ward along Algoma Blvd. to Interstate/US 41). The alternative would have been making 45 a county highway, or making it a local road.

I completely agree that US 45 should have been multiplexed north with I-41 as you stated. I'd prefer to extend STH 175 north from Fond du Lac along the lake as it used to go north to Oshkosh slightly inland from US 45. (I believe STH 175 is what's now CTH R in Winnebago County, but I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.) The current routing is ridiculous.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2022, 01:25:07 PM »

I think US 45 should have been co-designated with Interstate/US 41 from Exit 95 all the way to Exit 120 in Oshkosh. STH 76 could have instead been extended southward from Oshkosh to STH 23 in Fond du Lac (with STH 21 being re-extended to its orignial terminus at the W. Murdock Ave./Jackson St. intersection, or extending it northwest-ward along Algoma Blvd. to Interstate/US 41). The alternative would have been making 45 a county highway, or making it a local road.

I completely agree that US 45 should have been multiplexed north with I-41 as you stated. I'd prefer to extend STH 175 north from Fond du Lac along the lake as it used to go north to Oshkosh slightly inland from US 45. (I believe STH 175 is what's now CTH R in Winnebago County, but I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.) The current routing is ridiculous.

You are correct on the old routing of WI-175.

I think the answer should have been to extend WI-76 south along the lake, when they extended it north when US-45 was relocated.
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mgk920

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2022, 02:31:11 PM »

WI 175 was the original routing of US 41 (Milwaukee to Oshkosh) and before then, the Yellowstone Trail.

Mike
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2022, 01:35:49 PM »

It's also one of two county seats in Wisconsin that aren't the seats of the county of the same name.  The other being Portage.

<Washburn enters the chat>
;)

The FdL rerouting of US 45 I think portends future movement of that route onto I-41 from there to Oshkosh.  They probably just did that in town segment for now because it was due for a makeover and WisDOT frequently pays for that when they turn back a state-maintained route.  So they took the opportunity to move US 45 off that section.
At some point, I assume they'll get their ducks in a row and move the rest of it and bring 76 down from Oskhosh.

WisDOT is usually kind of dopey with their turnbacks these days; trying to keep them in the same county or whatever.  It's silly.  They should just go through and trim the fat statewide in one fell swoop of some of these more unnecessary or 'dead end' routes so no one feels like they're losing "their" state highway in favor of a new one somewhere else in the state.
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tchafe1978

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2022, 12:40:56 AM »

It's also one of two county seats in Wisconsin that aren't the seats of the county of the same name.  The other being Portage.



<Washburn enters the chat>
;)

The FdL rerouting of US 45 I think portends future movement of that route onto I-41 from there to Oshkosh.  They probably just did that in town segment for now because it was due for a makeover and WisDOT frequently pays for that when they turn back a state-maintained route.  So they took the opportunity to move US 45 off that section.
At some point, I assume they'll get their ducks in a row and move the rest of it and bring 76 down from Oskhosh.

WisDOT is usually kind of dopey with their turnbacks these days; trying to keep them in the same county or whatever.  It's silly.  They should just go through and trim the fat statewide in one fell swoop of some of these more unnecessary or 'dead end' routes so no one feels like they're losing "their" state highway in favor of a new one somewhere else in the state.

Monroe is another city that is a county seat that isn't in the county of the same name.

Another oddity of WI 26 in Waupun is this intersection for the frontage road right before the ramp from 26 south to 151 south. I've driven this way before, so I knew what to expect here. But the last time we headed from Oshkosh back home, we decided to take 26 instead of my usual I-41 to 151. My 17 year old daughter was driving this road for the first time. I was giving her directions, and told her to take the next right. She got confused when she saw this intersection for the frontage road, and thought that this was the right turn she was supposed to take. I was telling her no, don't turn here, you're supposed to take the next ramp to 151. She gets all flustered and comes to a dead stop in the right turn lane for the frontage road. So now I have to calm her down enough and get her back in the right direction again. We eventually made it to 151. But anyway, intersections like this one on expressways that are a short distance before an interchange ramp are very dangerous and confusing. I wish they weren't so close together.

https://goo.gl/maps/k51dURSzH1isgSuE6
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2022, 02:39:25 PM »

Probably on you for not specifying she's looking for a ramp and not a turn. ;)
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tchafe1978

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Re: Oddities of Wis 26 in Waupun
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2022, 11:27:50 PM »

Probably on you for not specifying she's looking for a ramp and not a turn. ;)

You're probably right. At least she'll know for next time.
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