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Author Topic: US 51 from I-90 to The Beltline. WISDOTís least exciting major project ever?  (Read 548 times)

peterj920

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Soon WISDOT will reconstruct US 51 between The Beltline and I-90 east of Stoughton. This is the first major project that mainly consists of reconstructing primarily a 2 lane road. Thereís many other highways in the state that have pavement in worse shape than US 51 in this section, yet itís chosen for a full reconstruction with only minimal expansion in the Stoughton Area. With so many places in greater need of improvements why is WISDOT spending $207 million on primarily a 2 lane road reconstruction?
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SEWIGuy

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Soon WISDOT will reconstruct US 51 between The Beltline and I-90 east of Stoughton. This is the first major project that mainly consists of reconstructing primarily a 2 lane road. Thereís many other highways in the state that have pavement in worse shape than US 51 in this section, yet itís chosen for a full reconstruction with only minimal expansion in the Stoughton Area. With so many places in greater need of improvements why is WISDOT spending $207 million on primarily a 2 lane road reconstruction?

Itís a busy corridor. I have no idea if there are places with ďgreater need.Ē By what metrics do you feel that way? Did you ever think of asking WIDOT?
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triplemultiplex

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This project does feel like a capitulation from what had been proposed a few years back:  Essentially turning US 51 into an expressway between McFarland and Stoughton with a nice, safe interchange at CTH B/AB.  Now, the two-laner with a roundabout at CTH B looks pathetic by comparison.

I guess not enough DOT people live in Stoughton.
I've suspected that the reason that US 14 to Oregon and US 51 in Deforest were built so well is because the folks who's job it is to make all the decisions about projects like that live in those two suburbs.  So when the opportunity to build themselves their very own freeway came along, they went for it.
Those are both really nice, future-proof facilities, but one can't help but feel like they're a little overkill.  Especially when one considers how both of US 151's egresses into Madison were stuck getting slowly upgraded over many years with one still 'incomplete' from one perspective.

I say that somewhat in jest.  I have no actually knowledge of that kind of thing happening, but it would be funny if there was some important manager or other decision maker at WisDOT who lived in Oregon in the 60's when they built that freeway.
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The Ghostbuster

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I would have liked US 51 between McFarland and Stoughton to have been expanded to four lanes. However, the EA stated that it had greater impacts, didn't meet fiscal restraint requirements, and higher public opposition. So, they went with the Hybrid alternative that limits expansion to four lanes to the McFarland and the west side of Stoughton. We'll see how the corridor fares after construction is completed in 2029.
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peterj920

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This project does feel like a capitulation from what had been proposed a few years back:  Essentially turning US 51 into an expressway between McFarland and Stoughton with a nice, safe interchange at CTH B/AB.  Now, the two-laner with a roundabout at CTH B looks pathetic by comparison.

I guess not enough DOT people live in Stoughton.
I've suspected that the reason that US 14 to Oregon and US 51 in Deforest were built so well is because the folks who's job it is to make all the decisions about projects like that live in those two suburbs.  So when the opportunity to build themselves their very own freeway came along, they went for it.
Those are both really nice, future-proof facilities, but one can't help but feel like they're a little overkill.  Especially when one considers how both of US 151's egresses into Madison were stuck getting slowly upgraded over many years with one still 'incomplete' from one perspective.

I say that somewhat in jest.  I have no actually knowledge of that kind of thing happening, but it would be funny if there was some important manager or other decision maker at WisDOT who lived in Oregon in the 60's when they built that freeway.

US 14 has been a freeway to Oregon since 1968 and has been around for decades. If there were DOT influence down there I would think that US 14 would be relocated south of Oregon on the WISDOT ROW that was purchased in the 1970s. There does seem to be influence on the north/east sides with that freeway proposal between I-94 around Sun Prairie to rejoin I-90/I-94 by DeForest that was ultimately killed.

Interesting how Wis 164 and Wis 83 can be expanded in the Milwaukee Area without being classified as major projects but projects like that arenít built on roads surrounding Madison. US 14 between Cross Plains and Middleton along with Wis 19 between Waunakee and Sun Prairie. Both stretches see over 10,000 VPD. An interchange is badly needed at US 12 and County K with frequent backups. Those needs are why Iím disappointed with this project.

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thspfc

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This project does feel like a capitulation from what had been proposed a few years back:  Essentially turning US 51 into an expressway between McFarland and Stoughton with a nice, safe interchange at CTH B/AB.  Now, the two-laner with a roundabout at CTH B looks pathetic by comparison.

I guess not enough DOT people live in Stoughton.
I've suspected that the reason that US 14 to Oregon and US 51 in Deforest were built so well is because the folks who's job it is to make all the decisions about projects like that live in those two suburbs.  So when the opportunity to build themselves their very own freeway came along, they went for it.
Those are both really nice, future-proof facilities, but one can't help but feel like they're a little overkill.  Especially when one considers how both of US 151's egresses into Madison were stuck getting slowly upgraded over many years with one still 'incomplete' from one perspective.

I say that somewhat in jest.  I have no actually knowledge of that kind of thing happening, but it would be funny if there was some important manager or other decision maker at WisDOT who lived in Oregon in the 60's when they built that freeway.
Both those were needed. Especially US-14, but 51 too.
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SEWIGuy

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I think a full freeway between Madison and Oregon was overkill when it was initially built. I grew up in Fitchburg off Irish Lane in the 70s and 80s, and that freeway had very little traffic.  But that's what they built then right? If the two lane road was deemed insufficient, it was replaced by a full freeway.
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midwesternroadguy

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This project does feel like a capitulation from what had been proposed a few years back:  Essentially turning US 51 into an expressway between McFarland and Stoughton with a nice, safe interchange at CTH B/AB.  Now, the two-laner with a roundabout at CTH B looks pathetic by comparison.

I guess not enough DOT people live in Stoughton.
I've suspected that the reason that US 14 to Oregon and US 51 in Deforest were built so well is because the folks who's job it is to make all the decisions about projects like that live in those two suburbs.  So when the opportunity to build themselves their very own freeway came along, they went for it.
Those are both really nice, future-proof facilities, but one can't help but feel like they're a little overkill.  Especially when one considers how both of US 151's egresses into Madison were stuck getting slowly upgraded over many years with one still 'incomplete' from one perspective.

I say that somewhat in jest.  I have no actually knowledge of that kind of thing happening, but it would be funny if there was some important manager or other decision maker at WisDOT who lived in Oregon in the 60's when they built that freeway.

US 14 has been a freeway to Oregon since 1968 and has been around for decades. If there were DOT influence down there I would think that US 14 would be relocated south of Oregon on the WISDOT ROW that was purchased in the 1970s. There does seem to be influence on the north/east sides with that freeway proposal between I-94 around Sun Prairie to rejoin I-90/I-94 by DeForest that was ultimately killed.

Interesting how Wis 164 and Wis 83 can be expanded in the Milwaukee Area without being classified as major projects but projects like that arenít built on roads surrounding Madison. US 14 between Cross Plains and Middleton along with Wis 19 between Waunakee and Sun Prairie. Both stretches see over 10,000 VPD. An interchange is badly needed at US 12 and County K with frequent backups. Those needs are why Iím disappointed with this project.

I couldnít agree more about US 14 from Cross Plains ( or for that matter, Mazomanie)
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midwesternroadguy

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I think a full freeway between Madison and Oregon was overkill when it was initially built. I grew up in Fitchburg off Irish Lane in the 70s and 80s, and that freeway had very little traffic.  But that's what they built then right? If the two lane road was deemed insufficient, it was replaced by a full freeway.

When the freeway was completed in 1970 to the northern limits of Oregon, that was clearly just the start of more corridor improvements farther south.  Judging by the commuter traffic from Evansville, the corridor is in need of improvements south of STH 138. 
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The Ghostbuster

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As you all are probably aware, in 1976, right-of-way was purchased west of existing US 14 between STH 138 and STH 92. It was done so to realign US 14, which never occurred. In the past decade or so, there were plans (I don't know how official) to utilize the purchased right-of-way to build either a two-lane highway with at-grade intersections, or even as a four-lane freeway with an interchange at CTH A and possibly STH 92. In the end, the existing roadway between 138 and 92 was resurfaced, and a roundabout was constructed at the intersection of US 14/STH 92/Biglow Rd., which occurred last year.
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