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Author Topic: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?  (Read 2983 times)

skluth

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2021, 02:48:37 PM »

The only way to think some of these corridors are somehow overbuilt is to never have driven anything bigger than your car.  You should give that a try sometime, it will change your perspective on a lot of things.

In the meantime, understand that many of these upgrades occur not in response to local demand or local traffic, but things like through truck traffic.  All of WI 26 between I-41 and Janesville carries a lot of truck traffic.  And that's the reason the entire thing between those points *should* be four lanes.  29 carries a lot of trucks from the Fox Valley over toward the Twin Cities and points west, hence those upgrades.  US 10 between I-41 and I-39, same thing.

There isnít that much truck traffic on Wi-26Öwhen compared to the interstate highways where the real issues exist.

There's more truck traffic than you might think. At least, there was the one time I drove WI 26 4-5 years ago. I thought it was great although dealing with the truck traffic along CTH A in Dodge County was a pain; CTH A is not built to handle the current traffic load from my perspective. It would be good to eliminate the lights near Janesville, but I didn't think the lights near I-94 were bad even with all the outlet stores.
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skluth

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2021, 03:08:29 PM »

The only ones left that is even worthy of a 4 lane expansion is US-51 between Tomahawk and Woodruff. And US-141 from Pound to Crivitz. The later is unlikely. Another longshot possibility would be US-12 from Madison to Cambridge or a 4 lane Whitewater bypass.

None of US 141 north of Abrams was truly needed. Outside of summers, it isnít really super busy. Passing lanes would have been sufficient. Even US 41 between Oconto and Peshtigo was a stretch, although at least that connects to a decent sized town in Marinette.

US 51 north of Tomahawk is fine. Other than summers, itís not really busy.
While Crivitz is a small town it's still of greater significance than Pound ending the 4 lane there seemed rather odd. One I thought of jsut now that could be a candidate is Hwy 16 between Oconomowoc and Watertown.

The four-lane portion of US 141 ends at WI 64, not at Pound. WI 64 is an important corridor for the area, especially with westbound traffic going to White Potato Lake (traffic counts go down considerably west of WPL), Mountain, and points further northwest. WI 64 is an arbitrary crossroads, but traffic counts steadily go down the further north you drive on US 141 north of Abrams and the four lane portion could have as easily stopped at WI 22 or Lena.

The US 141/WI 64 crossroads used to have a lot of bad accidents because of all the vehicles towing campers and boats on both highways. (My grandparents lived in Coleman and both came from large families in rural Marinette County. I practically lived in the area every summer in the 60's.) I can see why they wanted to build a full interchange there even with the relatively low traffic counts. Four lanes north of WI 22 was probably unneeded, but I can see the need for the US 141/WI 64 interchange.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2021, 03:12:09 PM »

Felt US 14 / WI 11 from Jville to I-43 should have been done 25 years ago. Not sure what that corridor is like now.



Busy but manageable with two lanes.
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on_wisconsin

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2021, 04:34:04 PM »


Quote
For those more familiar with Wisconsin as a whole, are there still corridors that urgently need to be 4-laned?

Outside of the aforementioned and the Sauk City bypass, WIS 65/ 35 between Ellsworth and the N. Main St interchange in River Falls would be the big one that comes to mind for Western Wisco. Especially, given the rapid growth rate in the area... River Falls is few big box stores away from being full-on suburb at this point. IMHO

We lost our one big box store (a Shopko) just before the pandemic hit, and haven't had another one to replace it.

Shopko's demised had nothing to do with the River Falls location, the whole chain went bust. Its probably just a matter of time before WalmartTargetFarmFleetFarmKohls builds a store in town. 16K'ish pop is usually too many for one (or more) of them to resist.

Quote
Traffic counts from River Falls to Ellsworth are nowhere near high enough to justify 4-laning WIS 65, and I don't think I'll ever live to see the time where they are.  Ellsworth just isn't big enough.  Certainly it's a busy road, but it's a steady busy and unlikely to get busier.

Strongly disagree that the WIS 65 corridor is not going to continue to grow, barring another '08 style crash or worse. Especially, with the tremendous housing shortage going on throughout the metro.

The stretch between the two towns is a cluster with Beldenville and the countless intersections and driveways. Varying terrain and the number of curves with poor sight-lines is another factor. Also, the highway carries a somewhat decent number of super commuters coming from points south and east of Ellsworth. Throw in the usual truck and farm traffic to go along with it as well.

The River Falls bypass should have been upgraded to a duel-carriageway twenty years ago. :wave:

(But WisDOT will likely continue to let the area roads get overrun with only minimal token upgrades while they gleefully add a third lane to Highway 26... /snark)
« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 05:53:45 PM by on_wisconsin »
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Revive 755

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2021, 10:50:55 PM »

Felt US 14 / WI 11 from Jville to I-43 should have been done 25 years ago. Not sure what that corridor is like now.



Busy but manageable with two lanes.

As long as no one is going 10 or more under speed limit.  That stretch of 14 needs a few passing lanes at least.
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coolkevs

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2021, 12:10:50 AM »

Felt US 14 / WI 11 from Jville to I-43 should have been done 25 years ago. Not sure what that corridor is like now.



Busy but manageable with two lanes.

As long as no one is going 10 or more under speed limit.  That stretch of 14 needs a few passing lanes at least.

I remember seeing this as a high priority corridor on the Corridors 2020 maps - maybe it will get some more attention when 39/90 expansion is finished.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2021, 08:18:48 AM »

Felt US 14 / WI 11 from Jville to I-43 should have been done 25 years ago. Not sure what that corridor is like now.



Busy but manageable with two lanes.

As long as no one is going 10 or more under speed limit.  That stretch of 14 needs a few passing lanes at least.

I remember seeing this as a high priority corridor on the Corridors 2020 maps - maybe it will get some more attention when 39/90 expansion is finished.


It was not originally a high priority when Corridors 2020 was initiated.  The link above shows that.
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invincor

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2021, 04:32:59 PM »


Quote
For those more familiar with Wisconsin as a whole, are there still corridors that urgently need to be 4-laned?

Outside of the aforementioned and the Sauk City bypass, WIS 65/ 35 between Ellsworth and the N. Main St interchange in River Falls would be the big one that comes to mind for Western Wisco. Especially, given the rapid growth rate in the area... River Falls is few big box stores away from being full-on suburb at this point. IMHO

We lost our one big box store (a Shopko) just before the pandemic hit, and haven't had another one to replace it.

Shopko's demised had nothing to do with the River Falls location, the whole chain went bust. Its probably just a matter of time before WalmartTargetFarmFleetFarmKohls builds a store in town. 16K'ish pop is usually too many for one (or more) of them to resist.

Quote
Traffic counts from River Falls to Ellsworth are nowhere near high enough to justify 4-laning WIS 65, and I don't think I'll ever live to see the time where they are.  Ellsworth just isn't big enough.  Certainly it's a busy road, but it's a steady busy and unlikely to get busier.

Strongly disagree that the WIS 65 corridor is not going to continue to grow, barring another '08 style crash or worse. Especially, with the tremendous housing shortage going on throughout the metro.

The stretch between the two towns is a cluster with Beldenville and the countless intersections and driveways. Varying terrain and the number of curves with poor sight-lines is another factor. Also, the highway carries a somewhat decent number of super commuters coming from points south and east of Ellsworth. Throw in the usual truck and farm traffic to go along with it as well.

The River Falls bypass should have been upgraded to a duel-carriageway twenty years ago. :wave:

(But WisDOT will likely continue to let the area roads get overrun with only minimal token upgrades while they gleefully add a third lane to Highway 26... /snark)


Yes, I know why Shopko died, but I still donít agree that weíre going to get another big box store to replace it because those are just not going to be getting built anything like they were before because of the rise of online shopping.  The Shopko building is being turned into a craft brewery right now.

The only expansion of the highway I can ever see happening is maybe, maybe expanding the four-lane south to the Hwy 29 junction.  The road cut through the hill was built wide enough to accommodate that.

There is absolutely no local clamor for expanding the 4-lane to Ellsworth. 

Personally, Iíd rather see money of that type be spent in expanding I-94 to six lanes from Hwy 12 exit 4 east to at least Eau Claire.  Thatís far, far more necessary than doing any more 4-laning of the state highways over here.
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msunat97

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #33 on: October 16, 2021, 08:51:46 AM »

I love driving the WI-26 4-lane when headed south from the Fox Valley area.  I wish they would bypass Rosendale, but it won't happen.  It's a great alternative to the interstate and a nice easy drive.
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skluth

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #34 on: October 17, 2021, 05:05:06 PM »

I love driving the WI-26 4-lane when headed south from the Fox Valley area.  I wish they would bypass Rosendale, but it won't happen.  It's a great alternative to the interstate and a nice easy drive.

I used to enjoy going through Rosendale back in the day. It was a great halfway point to stop and have a beer between GB and Madison. Now it's just a lousy collection of convenience pit stops with an overaggressive speed trap.
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I-39

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2021, 05:46:40 PM »

I will say this, in addition to improving the Interstates, there are two things I think do need to happen in the next 10-15 years.

1. The Madison to Fond du Lac section of US 151 needs go full freeway. Itís time to initiate a large scale freeway conversion along this corridor like US 41 in the 1990s.

2. While not as big of a priority as above, the eastern portion of WIS 29 from Wausau to Green Bay should be considered for full freeway conversion. There seems to be more and more little projects popping up along here so maybe itís time to consider biting the bullet and going full freeway. Only after the Interstates and the above US 151 project is taken care of though.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #36 on: October 17, 2021, 06:02:08 PM »


Quote
For those more familiar with Wisconsin as a whole, are there still corridors that urgently need to be 4-laned?

Outside of the aforementioned and the Sauk City bypass, WIS 65/ 35 between Ellsworth and the N. Main St interchange in River Falls would be the big one that comes to mind for Western Wisco. Especially, given the rapid growth rate in the area... River Falls is few big box stores away from being full-on suburb at this point. IMHO

We lost our one big box store (a Shopko) just before the pandemic hit, and haven't had another one to replace it.

Shopko's demised had nothing to do with the River Falls location, the whole chain went bust. Its probably just a matter of time before WalmartTargetFarmFleetFarmKohls builds a store in town. 16K'ish pop is usually too many for one (or more) of them to resist.

Quote
Traffic counts from River Falls to Ellsworth are nowhere near high enough to justify 4-laning WIS 65, and I don't think I'll ever live to see the time where they are.  Ellsworth just isn't big enough.  Certainly it's a busy road, but it's a steady busy and unlikely to get busier.

Strongly disagree that the WIS 65 corridor is not going to continue to grow, barring another '08 style crash or worse. Especially, with the tremendous housing shortage going on throughout the metro.

The stretch between the two towns is a cluster with Beldenville and the countless intersections and driveways. Varying terrain and the number of curves with poor sight-lines is another factor. Also, the highway carries a somewhat decent number of super commuters coming from points south and east of Ellsworth. Throw in the usual truck and farm traffic to go along with it as well.

The River Falls bypass should have been upgraded to a duel-carriageway twenty years ago. :wave:

(But WisDOT will likely continue to let the area roads get overrun with only minimal token upgrades while they gleefully add a third lane to Highway 26... /snark)


Yes, I know why Shopko died, but I still donít agree that weíre going to get another big box store to replace it because those are just not going to be getting built anything like they were before because of the rise of online shopping.  The Shopko building is being turned into a craft brewery right now.

The only expansion of the highway I can ever see happening is maybe, maybe expanding the four-lane south to the Hwy 29 junction.  The road cut through the hill was built wide enough to accommodate that.

There is absolutely no local clamor for expanding the 4-lane to Ellsworth. 

Personally, Iíd rather see money of that type be spent in expanding I-94 to six lanes from Hwy 12 exit 4 east to at least Eau Claire.  Thatís far, far more necessary than doing any more 4-laning of the state highways over here.


Other big box stores aren't likely to use old Shopko sites.  They are generally too small for a Target or a Wal-Mart.  Furthermore, many of the buildings are pretty old meaning they would need extensive renovation.

Many will be used for other purposes.  (One in Green Bay is being used as a light manufacturing facility.)  And many will sit empty for years.  I guess a few will become dollar stores or something similar.
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hobsini2

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #37 on: October 17, 2021, 07:10:32 PM »

The expressway list is likely done in Wisconsin for a while. However, there are still some places that could use a 4 lane highway. These would be ones I would consider soon.
1. Wis 21 I-90/94 Tomah to Oshkosh (4 lanes divided but not expressway mostly). I would propose a connection to the I-90/94 split junction. I would have new terrain bypasses of Necedah, Wautoma, Redgranite and Omro.
2. US 8
    A. I-35 (in MN) to St Croix Falls (4 lanes but not expressway)
    B. Wis 35 (East Jct) to US 53 Cameron (4 lanes but not expressway)
    C. US 51 near Tomahwak to Rhinelander (4 lanes but not expressway)

The rest of the list I will post later. I got to go to a meeting.
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triplemultiplex

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #38 on: October 18, 2021, 03:04:24 PM »

The Shopko building is being turned into a craft brewery right now.

Progress!


    C. US 51 near Tomahwak to Rhinelander (4 lanes but not expressway)

Did you mean US 8 or Minocqua? ;)



Regarding US 14 east of Janesville, I suspect the new interchange design at I-39/90 and I-43 is in part to encourage traffic to slide down to Beloit to get to I-43 rather than using US 14.  The relevant ramps are very generous in their geometry.  Once that's all done, I'd be interested in seeing the difference in travel time between any point in Janesville west of the interstate and exit 15 on I-43.  I suspect it'll be close to a wash.
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JREwing78

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2021, 07:44:23 PM »

Regarding US 14 east of Janesville, I suspect the new interchange design at I-39/90 and I-43 is in part to encourage traffic to slide down to Beloit to get to I-43 rather than using US 14.  The relevant ramps are very generous in their geometry.  Once that's all done, I'd be interested in seeing the difference in travel time between any point in Janesville west of the interstate and exit 15 on I-43.  I suspect it'll be close to a wash.

There's also the whole Interstate-to-Interstate interchange thing, or at least that's what WisDOT cited when they designed the I-39/90 / I-43 interchange. Basically, for safety reasons they designed it to be taken at highway speeds.

You are probably correct about travel times being negligible following US-14 east of Janesville v.s. I-39/90 to I-43, at least the way Google Maps calculates it. But it's an additional 8 miles, and even after construction is over most locals (including me) headed east to catch I-43 would rather take US-14 because it's more predictable, unless there's inclement weather (US-14 drifts bad between Hwy 89 and Janesville).

WisDOT has resisted adding passing lanes to US-14 in either direction from Janesville. It's not exactly a simple task; the 4-mile 2-lane stretch between County O and Hwy 140 has a lot of residences and farms right up close to the roadway, plus it goes through Emerald Grove.  The passing lanes would have to go in just east of the Hwy 140 intersection to make any sense, but that's after considerable traffic turns off at Hwy 140, so it's less effective.

So, yeah, I see WisDOT's thinking in encouraging traffic to stay on the Interstates. But being a local who knows the area pretty well, I'm probably going to stick to the County roads to get over to I-43.
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hobsini2

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2021, 06:16:47 PM »

The Shopko building is being turned into a craft brewery right now.

Progress!


    C. US 51 near Tomahwak to Rhinelander (4 lanes but not expressway)

Did you mean US 8 or Minocqua? ;)



Regarding US 14 east of Janesville, I suspect the new interchange design at I-39/90 and I-43 is in part to encourage traffic to slide down to Beloit to get to I-43 rather than using US 14.  The relevant ramps are very generous in their geometry.  Once that's all done, I'd be interested in seeing the difference in travel time between any point in Janesville west of the interstate and exit 15 on I-43.  I suspect it'll be close to a wash.


If you notice, that was 3 different sections of US 8. A, B and C.
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midwesternroadguy

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2021, 06:19:07 AM »

I still say that US 14 both directions out of Madison needs improvement.  From Oregon to Evansville the corridor is busy with commuter traffic on a daily basis.  Utilizing the already-acquired corridor to STH 92 would help.

US 14 west of Middleton has been busy for 40 years.  Try finding a gap in traffic to pass a vehicle particularly east of Cross Plains, much less the fatal crashes.  Four-laning to Cross Plains is a No Brainer.  Four-laning to Black Earth or Mazomanie is worthy of consideration.  Granted these communities arenít seeing the explosive growth seen in other detached Madison suburbs such as DeForest/Windsor, Cottage Grove, Oregon, or even Mt. Horeb.  Additional improvements to Richland Center may be warranted, although the few newer passing lanes between Arena and Gotham help. 
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triplemultiplex

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Re: The end of new large 4 lane expansion projects in Wisconsin?
« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2021, 05:01:28 PM »

It would be like pulling teeth to get 4 lanes on US 14 out to Cross Plains.  That's all headwaters for Black Earth Creek; a highly-regarded trout stream in the region with loads of people willing to go to the mat to obstruct further development in that direction.
Anything that would come to fruition would be far less than the standard rural Wisconsin expressway we're all used to in order to minimize r/w and encroachment on public lands flanking the existing highway.
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