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Should Wisconsin turn back Wis 175, US 12 and Wis 16 along I-41, I-90, I-94?

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After I-43 was built, the old sections of US 141 and Wis 15 were turned back to local control as they should have. For some reason Wis 175 was designated along old US 41 and US 12/Wis 16 remained on its original
alignment eventhough they’re very close to I-90/I-94.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to decommission Wis 175 between Milwaukee and Fond Du Lac and route US 12/Wis 16 on the parallel interstates on the lightly traveled sections? Why do those segments need to remain part of the state highway system? The counties did a great job maintaining old US 141 and Wis 15 after I-43 and there’s no reason why they can’t do the same along I-41, I-90 and I-94.

The idea of turning parallel roads back is unpopular on this board because people think there should be state-maintained alternates in case of emergencies on the interstate, but I think Wisconsin would be able to do it effectively like Minnesota has. Wisconsin has a good system of signing emergency detours, probably one of the better ones in the country, and people are navigating less by the route designation and by the emergency signs in these cases anyway.

I am wondering what agreements may have been made all those years ago that kept them on the state highway system.

Wisconsin keeps plenty of state highways on the books because the local jurisdictions won't take them back. Mostly, to swap with another new route sometime in the future.

Or, both entities aim to keep a designated amount of state highway mileage in a given county. A good recent example was the recent turnback of 74 in Waukesha County, in the works for several years, until the State was able to acquire the ROW to finish the Waukesha Bypass. They essentially swapped mileage.

No they should not be sent back to the counties. What they do need to do is consolidate numbers that would make sense as a one route corridor. 98 & 153 for example should be one number.


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