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Author Topic: Wisconsin notes  (Read 672895 times)

on_wisconsin

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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3450 on: November 30, 2021, 06:43:49 AM »

And the busiest part of the US 53 (south of 312) have an AADT of 47,100 and also if there is a crash blocking a lane traffic will back up
Does US 53 in Eau Claire really need to be 6 lanes? I could see them 6-laning Interstate 94, but not US 53.
No, but I-94 needs to probably be six lanes from Eau Claire to the Mississippi St. Croix River.

As a local, Yes. Especially, 53 between I-94 and WIS 312. It also comes up somewhat frequently in area media as a question asked by the public. The state has plans to start the EIS process in/ around 2026'ish, IIRC. As well as any expansion done along the corridor could likely be billed as a shovel-ready project as the facility was designed with expansion in mind and would require minimal new ROW. Even the major bridges had piers built wider then was necessary to accommodate future growth.
WisDOT was forced to put these along the road as well in past few years: https://goo.gl/maps/qvwD7X7aASr2xQrf8.

I’m not sure that that AADT fully justifies six lanes.  I drive on a four-lane freeway daily in a much larger metro with an AADT of 54,000, and it doesn’t need expansion.  And a crash on any freeway will bring traffic to grinding halt.  People in small cities have a much lower tolerance for traffic.  Look at US 52 in Rochester, MN— expanded to six lanes around 2005 and it still isn’t warranted.  However, people in Rochester will never tell you that. Wisconsin has bigger capacity issues than US 53. 

Yep.  I drive to work every day on WI-172 that has 60,000+ per day.  Sure it can slow down a little, and bad weather or an accident can grind traffic to a halt, but there are multiple alternatives through the city I can take if I want.  And outside of about 30 minutes in the morning and evening, four lanes is more than enough. 


US 53 gets fairly crowded in that area even during the weekends/ evenings and topography in the area also factors into need for widening. The expansion ready design of the bypass would likely make it significantly less costly and resource intensive then other potential major projects.

Altoona's 20%+ growth rate (third fastest in the state) over the past decade is another appreciable contributor. :coffee:

Everyone thinks their local project is somehow different. It likely isn’t.



I agree. 

The growth of Altoona pales in comparison to Madison’s and Dane County’s growth.  Lord knows there’s plenty of capacity issues around Madison.  I suggest you, chrismarion,  drive the Beltline at peak hour and compare it to US 53.  On Wednesday alone, the three eastbound lanes were stopped for over eight miles.  I hope that the flex lane project offers some relief.  As I said, people’s tolerance for congestion is directly proportional to a city’s population.  And it doesn’t seem right to throw limited resources at what are just perceived problems. 

Not the fellow user in question but...

Any further upgrades to the bypass would be relatively inexpensive and have little new ROW impacts. Plus, US 53 from 94 to 312 is only around five miles long.

Other then extending FlexLane up to the Greenway area. Major improvements to the Beltline would almost certainly be a boondoggle from the start and be stuck in a never ending cycle of EIS revision/court action. As someone who has lived in Madtown for several years, the real updates the Beltline corridor desperately needs is likely not going be cheap, fast, or painless. Even the ongoing PEL study has taken nearly ten years so far...

FWIW, Eau Claire was second to Madison for the top ten cities in growth rate.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2021, 07:46:00 AM by on_wisconsin »
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3451 on: November 30, 2021, 10:39:09 AM »

And the busiest part of the US 53 (south of 312) have an AADT of 47,100 and also if there is a crash blocking a lane traffic will back up
Does US 53 in Eau Claire really need to be 6 lanes? I could see them 6-laning Interstate 94, but not US 53.
No, but I-94 needs to probably be six lanes from Eau Claire to the Mississippi St. Croix River.

As a local, Yes. Especially, 53 between I-94 and WIS 312. It also comes up somewhat frequently in area media as a question asked by the public. The state has plans to start the EIS process in/ around 2026'ish, IIRC. As well as any expansion done along the corridor could likely be billed as a shovel-ready project as the facility was designed with expansion in mind and would require minimal new ROW. Even the major bridges had piers built wider then was necessary to accommodate future growth.
WisDOT was forced to put these along the road as well in past few years: https://goo.gl/maps/qvwD7X7aASr2xQrf8.

Iím not sure that that AADT fully justifies six lanes.  I drive on a four-lane freeway daily in a much larger metro with an AADT of 54,000, and it doesnít need expansion.  And a crash on any freeway will bring traffic to grinding halt.  People in small cities have a much lower tolerance for traffic.  Look at US 52 in Rochester, MNó expanded to six lanes around 2005 and it still isnít warranted.  However, people in Rochester will never tell you that. Wisconsin has bigger capacity issues than US 53. 

Yep.  I drive to work every day on WI-172 that has 60,000+ per day.  Sure it can slow down a little, and bad weather or an accident can grind traffic to a halt, but there are multiple alternatives through the city I can take if I want.  And outside of about 30 minutes in the morning and evening, four lanes is more than enough. 


US 53 gets fairly crowded in that area even during the weekends/ evenings and topography in the area also factors into need for widening. The expansion ready design of the bypass would likely make it significantly less costly and resource intensive then other potential major projects.

Altoona's 20%+ growth rate (third fastest in the state) over the past decade is another appreciable contributor. :coffee:

Everyone thinks their local project is somehow different. It likely isnít.



I agree. 

The growth of Altoona pales in comparison to Madisonís and Dane Countyís growth.  Lord knows thereís plenty of capacity issues around Madison.  I suggest you, chrismarion,  drive the Beltline at peak hour and compare it to US 53.  On Wednesday alone, the three eastbound lanes were stopped for over eight miles.  I hope that the flex lane project offers some relief.  As I said, peopleís tolerance for congestion is directly proportional to a cityís population.  And it doesnít seem right to throw limited resources at what are just perceived problems. 

Not the fellow user in question but...

Any further upgrades to the bypass would be relatively inexpensive and have little new ROW impacts. Plus, US 53 from 94 to 312 is only around five miles long.

Other then extending FlexLane up to the Greenway area. Major improvements to the Beltline would almost certainly be a boondoggle from the start and be stuck in a never ending cycle of EIS revision/court action. As someone who has lived in Madtown for several years, the real updates the Beltline corridor desperately needs is likely not going be cheap, fast, or painless. Even the ongoing PEL study has taken nearly ten years so far...

FWIW, Eau Claire was second to Madison for the top ten cities in growth rate.


Yes.  It was the second fastest growing city in Wisconsin.  It added 3,500 people.  Every one of those could take US-53 every day and it likely would still be fine.
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I-39

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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3452 on: November 30, 2021, 12:30:11 PM »

Considering the laundry list of improvements needed along the interstates in Wisconsin, US 53 widening in Eau Claire, along with any further improvements to the US 53 corridor between Eau Claire and Duluth should be low on the priority list.
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3453 on: December 01, 2021, 02:22:37 PM »

An injection of funds will do wonders for some of the more simple things, like keeping up with the wear and tear out there and get our highways smoother.  Some of my usual weekend warrior routes are overdue for a nice mill-and-overlay or concrete joint repair.  Just north of Portage, it's getting harder to dodge the potholes, for example.  I'm sure all y'all can rattle off 10 examples of crummy state roads you have to endure regularly in as many seconds.
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thspfc

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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3454 on: December 01, 2021, 02:59:10 PM »

An injection of funds will do wonders for some of the more simple things, like keeping up with the wear and tear out there and get our highways smoother.  Some of my usual weekend warrior routes are overdue for a nice mill-and-overlay or concrete joint repair.  Just north of Portage, it's getting harder to dodge the potholes, for example.  I'm sure all y'all can rattle off 10 examples of crummy state roads you have to endure regularly in as many seconds.
Pretty much the entirety of WI-16 west of Columbus.
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3455 on: December 01, 2021, 04:17:46 PM »

An injection of funds will do wonders for some of the more simple things, like keeping up with the wear and tear out there and get our highways smoother.  Some of my usual weekend warrior routes are overdue for a nice mill-and-overlay or concrete joint repair.  Just north of Portage, it's getting harder to dodge the potholes, for example.  I'm sure all y'all can rattle off 10 examples of crummy state roads you have to endure regularly in as many seconds.


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mgk920

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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3456 on: December 02, 2021, 02:25:05 PM »

Right now, one of the top priority projects in the state is I-41 between WI 15 (Northland Ave) in Appleton and Scheuring Rd in De Pere (upgrade from 4 to six lanes with other related intechange improvements), all for just +/- $2.5billion. This project, at additional cost, includes a new 'south' crossing of the Fox River at DePere.  It will look and drive like WI 312.  The current four lanes on that  part of I-41 backs up due to volume on a near daily basis, almost like post Packer game traffic.  This project is currently programmed for construction in the 2025 to 2029 time frame.

Mike
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 02:28:09 PM by mgk920 »
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3457 on: December 02, 2021, 04:43:48 PM »

Right now, one of the top priority projects in the state is I-41 between WI 15 (Northland Ave) in Appleton and Scheuring Rd in De Pere (upgrade from 4 to six lanes with other related intechange improvements), all for just +/- $2.5billion. This project, at additional cost, includes a new 'south' crossing of the Fox River at DePere.  It will look and drive like WI 312.  The current four lanes on that  part of I-41 backs up due to volume on a near daily basis, almost like post Packer game traffic.  This project is currently programmed for construction in the 2025 to 2029 time frame.

Mike


Here is the Record of Decision for the South Connector bridge over the Fox River.  Page 3 has the map showing the alternatives.  Option #2 is the choice, which makes sense to me.

http://www.public.applications.co.brown.wi.us/Plan/PlanningFolder/Transpotation/Southern%20Bridge%20Project/Final%20EIS-ROD/Tier%201%20Record%20of%20Decision.pdf
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3458 on: December 03, 2021, 12:00:04 PM »

Right now, one of the top priority projects in the state is I-41 between WI 15 (Northland Ave) in Appleton and Scheuring Rd in De Pere (upgrade from 4 to six lanes with other related intechange improvements), all for just +/- $2.5billion. This project, at additional cost, includes a new 'south' crossing of the Fox River at DePere.  It will look and drive like WI 312.  The current four lanes on that  part of I-41 backs up due to volume on a near daily basis, almost like post Packer game traffic.  This project is currently programmed for construction in the 2025 to 2029 time frame.

Mike


Here is the Record of Decision for the South Connector bridge over the Fox River.  Page 3 has the map showing the alternatives.  Option #2 is the choice, which makes sense to me.

http://www.public.applications.co.brown.wi.us/Plan/PlanningFolder/Transpotation/Southern%20Bridge%20Project/Final%20EIS-ROD/Tier%201%20Record%20of%20Decision.pdf

I hadn't seen all these options before.  The Heritage and Scheuring Road concepts go back to when I was growing up in Allouez in the early 70's. Options #9-11 are further south than anything I'd seen proposed in the past; I'm guessing they were eliminated early as they are too far south to be anything but bypasses for traffic avoiding Green Bay and #6-7 would be similar. Option #2 is probably best for current needs. Option #3 would have been more expensive, but I like the idea of running the east end of the South Connector bridge to the I-43/WI 172 interchange. Traffic could soon overwhelm the CTH GV/Monroe interchange if the rest of the route becomes a popular bypass route.

I hadn't looked at the imagery in quite some time here. The growth of DePere on both sides of the river in the last three decades has been incredible. I do worry local officials won't limit direct access to the new route and it becomes a 4-6 lane suburban nightmare with stoplights every quarter-mile.
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3459 on: December 03, 2021, 01:54:20 PM »

Right now, one of the top priority projects in the state is I-41 between WI 15 (Northland Ave) in Appleton and Scheuring Rd in De Pere (upgrade from 4 to six lanes with other related intechange improvements), all for just +/- $2.5billion. This project, at additional cost, includes a new 'south' crossing of the Fox River at DePere.  It will look and drive like WI 312.  The current four lanes on that  part of I-41 backs up due to volume on a near daily basis, almost like post Packer game traffic.  This project is currently programmed for construction in the 2025 to 2029 time frame.

Mike


Here is the Record of Decision for the South Connector bridge over the Fox River.  Page 3 has the map showing the alternatives.  Option #2 is the choice, which makes sense to me.

http://www.public.applications.co.brown.wi.us/Plan/PlanningFolder/Transpotation/Southern%20Bridge%20Project/Final%20EIS-ROD/Tier%201%20Record%20of%20Decision.pdf

I hadn't seen all these options before.  The Heritage and Scheuring Road concepts go back to when I was growing up in Allouez in the early 70's. Options #9-11 are further south than anything I'd seen proposed in the past; I'm guessing they were eliminated early as they are too far south to be anything but bypasses for traffic avoiding Green Bay and #6-7 would be similar. Option #2 is probably best for current needs. Option #3 would have been more expensive, but I like the idea of running the east end of the South Connector bridge to the I-43/WI 172 interchange. Traffic could soon overwhelm the CTH GV/Monroe interchange if the rest of the route becomes a popular bypass route.

I hadn't looked at the imagery in quite some time here. The growth of DePere on both sides of the river in the last three decades has been incredible. I do worry local officials won't limit direct access to the new route and it becomes a 4-6 lane suburban nightmare with stoplights every quarter-mile.


Highway GV (Monroe Road) between Highway X and WI-172 is a really nice, four-lane urban arterial.  No doubt they built it to there to take advantage of that.

The problem with 3, or anything else that leads to the I-43 / WI-172 interchange is that it would be extremely expensive.  Those subdivisions are some of the most high end in the area, and you would have to deal with Green Bay Country Club as well. 
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Great Lakes Roads

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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3460 on: December 03, 2021, 08:42:53 PM »

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I-39

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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3461 on: December 03, 2021, 09:27:27 PM »

The issue with the Beltline is thereís too many interchanges. Eliminate some of them and traffic will flow more smoothly.
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3462 on: December 03, 2021, 11:57:55 PM »

The issue with the Beltline is thereís too many interchanges. Eliminate some of them and traffic will flow more smoothly.

Yes, but which?
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3463 on: December 04, 2021, 12:41:31 AM »

The issue with the Beltline is thereís too many interchanges. Eliminate some of them and traffic will flow more smoothly.

Yes, but which?
Todd Drive and Rimrock Rd are expendable, though one could argue the interchanges at Fish Hatchery Rd and John Nolen Dr would need upgrades to accommodate the additional traffic.

Braided ramps or a C/D lane are needed between Fish Hatchery and Park St, requiring ROW acquisition. I don't see a way around that one. Fish Hatchery could probably move more traffic with a diverging diamond conversion.

The other interchanges can stay as is; they're not causing congestion issues.

SM-G991U

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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3464 on: December 04, 2021, 08:05:23 AM »

The issue with the Beltline is thereís too many interchanges. Eliminate some of them and traffic will flow more smoothly.

Yes, but which?
Todd Drive and Rimrock Rd are expendable, though one could argue the interchanges at Fish Hatchery Rd and John Nolen Dr would need upgrades to accommodate the additional traffic.

Braided ramps or a C/D lane are needed between Fish Hatchery and Park St, requiring ROW acquisition. I don't see a way around that one. Fish Hatchery could probably move more traffic with a diverging diamond conversion.

The other interchanges can stay as is; they're not causing congestion issues.

SM-G991U


Yeah closing Todd Drive and Rimrock just moves the problems to different interchanges like you mention.  There is no way to head south of the Beltline off John Nolen for instance, which means you would have a lot of problems with the light at Rimrock, where traffic already backs up.

Honestly I don't think you can do too much with the Beltline.  The geography of Madison makes it difficult to develop alternate routes, and ROW acquisition for expansion would be very expensive or near impossible.
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3465 on: December 04, 2021, 10:16:22 PM »

The issue with the Beltline is thereís too many interchanges. Eliminate some of them and traffic will flow more smoothly.

Yes, but which?
Todd Drive and Rimrock Rd are expendable, though one could argue the interchanges at Fish Hatchery Rd and John Nolen Dr would need upgrades to accommodate the additional traffic.

Braided ramps or a C/D lane are needed between Fish Hatchery and Park St, requiring ROW acquisition. I don't see a way around that one. Fish Hatchery could probably move more traffic with a diverging diamond conversion.

The other interchanges can stay as is; they're not causing congestion issues.

SM-G991U

I use the Rimrock Interchange every work day and closing it would cause more problems since itís a busy interchange. With the traffic volume closing isnít happening.

I do think a ramp meters are needed badly at Broadway. Traveling eastbound in the evening traffic always backs up there and traffic flow improves at the Yahara River Bridge.
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3466 on: December 04, 2021, 11:59:35 PM »

The issue with the Beltline is thereís too many interchanges. Eliminate some of them and traffic will flow more smoothly.

Yes, but which?
Todd Drive and Rimrock Rd are expendable, though one could argue the interchanges at Fish Hatchery Rd and John Nolen Dr would need upgrades to accommodate the additional traffic.

Braided ramps or a C/D lane are needed between Fish Hatchery and Park St, requiring ROW acquisition. I don't see a way around that one. Fish Hatchery could probably move more traffic with a diverging diamond conversion.

The other interchanges can stay as is; they're not causing congestion issues.

SM-G991U


Yeah closing Todd Drive and Rimrock just moves the problems to different interchanges like you mention.  There is no way to head south of the Beltline off John Nolen for instance, which means you would have a lot of problems with the light at Rimrock, where traffic already backs up.

Honestly I don't think you can do too much with the Beltline.  The geography of Madison makes it difficult to develop alternate routes, and ROW acquisition for expansion would be very expensive or near impossible.

Well thenÖÖ Iíd say itís pretty clear the Beltline was a poorly planned freeway.

Todd Drive and Seminole Highway seem to be slam dunks for removal, but everything else is unclear. It would be ideal to remove Rimrock, but without being able to extend John Nolan to the south, it would cause too many issues. Another one that could go is Monona Dr.
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3467 on: December 05, 2021, 01:01:38 AM »

The Seminole ramps are going to be removed anyway, but a direct 18/151 freeway connection is going to go there. https://projects.511wi.gov/wp-content/uploads/feis-vol1.pdf
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3468 on: December 05, 2021, 01:04:55 AM »

And the busiest part of the US 53 (south of 312) have an AADT of 47,100 and also if there is a crash blocking a lane traffic will back up
Does US 53 in Eau Claire really need to be 6 lanes? I could see them 6-laning Interstate 94, but not US 53.
No, but I-94 needs to probably be six lanes from Eau Claire to the Mississippi St. Croix River.

As a local, Yes. Especially, 53 between I-94 and WIS 312. It also comes up somewhat frequently in area media as a question asked by the public. The state has plans to start the EIS process in/ around 2026'ish, IIRC. As well as any expansion done along the corridor could likely be billed as a shovel-ready project as the facility was designed with expansion in mind and would require minimal new ROW. Even the major bridges had piers built wider then was necessary to accommodate future growth.
WisDOT was forced to put these along the road as well in past few years: https://goo.gl/maps/qvwD7X7aASr2xQrf8.

Iím not sure that that AADT fully justifies six lanes.  I drive on a four-lane freeway daily in a much larger metro with an AADT of 54,000, and it doesnít need expansion.  And a crash on any freeway will bring traffic to grinding halt.  People in small cities have a much lower tolerance for traffic.  Look at US 52 in Rochester, MNó expanded to six lanes around 2005 and it still isnít warranted.  However, people in Rochester will never tell you that. Wisconsin has bigger capacity issues than US 53. 


Yep.  I drive to work every day on WI-172 that has 60,000+ per day.  Sure it can slow down a little, and bad weather or an accident can grind traffic to a halt, but there are multiple alternatives through the city I can take if I want.  And outside of about 30 minutes in the morning and evening, four lanes is more than enough. 

The entire "loop" around Green Bay should be 6 lanes.  I used 172 East the last time I went to a Packers game and the traffic was terrible going home to the point that I got off at Hwy G and waited until I got to Hwy K and Kellnersville before hoping on I-43.
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3469 on: December 05, 2021, 07:40:21 AM »

Game traffic is an exception, not the norm.  That's 8 times a year vs 365.
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3470 on: December 05, 2021, 08:15:40 AM »

Game traffic is an exception, not the norm.  That's 8 times a year vs 365.


Yep.  The two lanes on the eastern side of WI-172 can slow down in the evening but is by and large fine, and I-43 between WI-172 and I-41 over the Leo Frigo Bridge is more than fine with two lanes.  The only time I have seen that back up is when the I-41 and I-43 traffic is merging on a holiday weekend in the summer.

Packer game traffic is what it is. 
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3471 on: December 05, 2021, 09:40:20 AM »

Game traffic is an exception, not the norm.  That's 8 times a year vs 365.


Yep.  The two lanes on the eastern side of WI-172 can slow down in the evening but is by and large fine, and I-43 between WI-172 and I-41 over the Leo Frigo Bridge is more than fine with two lanes.  The only time I have seen that back up is when the I-41 and I-43 traffic is merging on a holiday weekend in the summer.

Packer game traffic is what it is.
As much as Packers postgame traffic sucks, the city probably loves it. The longer it takes fans to leave, the better.
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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3472 on: December 06, 2021, 11:10:34 AM »

Post game traffic is avoided by a post-game tailgate. Fire up the grill, reheat the leftovers from pre-game and pop a beer while all the suckers sit there in traffic. :)

Well thenÖÖ Iíd say itís pretty clear the Beltline was a poorly planned freeway.
"Beltline planned"?  Good one. :-D

Could have been a great facility if it was planned, designed and built as a freeway from the beginning instead of a slowly cobbled together hodgepodge of upgraded country roads.  That's how we ended up with too many interchanges and development hugging the corridor making it implausible to expand.  They built interchanges like Rimrock and Todd and Greenway and the development came.  Now we're stuck with it.

You know Rimrock opened as just an overpass?  Could've nipped that one in the bud 50 years ago by not adding ramps, but whoops. They build the old arena and then the convention center and now the interchange at Rimrock is pretty much indisposable. 
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JREwing78

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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3473 on: December 06, 2021, 11:54:12 AM »

"Beltline planned"?  Good one. :-D

 :-D  Indeed.

It wasn't but a decade ago the Beltline still had an at-grade railroad crossing (on a 6-lane "freeway"), and said "freeway" dumped to a city street in Middleton. It was only about 30 years ago that the portion through Monona was built out as a freeway bypass of the existing at-grade city street section.

The idea of the Beltline as a fully limited-access freeway is very young. It was historically very much like what Stoughton Rd is today - a slightly-glorified city street that morphed from a rural 2-lane highway.

There was no "planning" involved with the Beltline. It represents 60 years of knee-jerk reactions to traffic that overwhelmed successive iterations of a more minor roadway.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: Wisconsin notes
« Reply #3474 on: December 06, 2021, 01:12:34 PM »

Just over 30 years ago there were still at-grade intersections on the Beltline.  Westbound, you could turn off the Beltline in between Park Street and Fish Hatchery to get to a KMart on the north side of the highway.  (And yeah, you could turn onto the highway to go west too.)  Eastbound, you could turnoff onto Badger Road to access Rimrock because they initially only constructed off ramps for westbound traffic. 

Just play around on Historic Aerials and you'll see all sorts of stuff on the Beltline that makes you go  :hmmm: :hmmm: :hmmm:
« Last Edit: December 06, 2021, 01:15:04 PM by SEWIGuy »
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