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Author Topic: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin  (Read 51776 times)

US 12 fan

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The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« on: August 20, 2017, 09:46:11 PM »

Now that the Baraboo Bypass is open, what is the future of US 12 in Wisconsin?

1. Will there be a bypass at Sauk City? I know there can't be any talk about it until 2020.
2. Will DOT restart plans for having a bypass in Fort Atkinson eventually?
3. Will they eventually expand the freeway end at Elkhorn to eventually connect with the Whitewater Bypass?
4. What parts of US 12 does the DOT want to turn into a freeway or at least expand the parts that are a freeway? I know they are looking at plans to expanding the freeway from outside Middleton to Highway 19 at the very least but are there any other parts?
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SEWIGuy

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2017, 09:56:57 PM »

Now that the Baraboo Bypass is open, what is the future of US 12 in Wisconsin?

1. Will there be a bypass at Sauk City? I know there can't be any talk about it until 2020.
2. Will DOT restart plans for having a bypass in Fort Atkinson eventually?
3. Will they eventually expand the freeway end at Elkhorn to eventually connect with the Whitewater Bypass?
4. What parts of US 12 does the DOT want to turn into a freeway or at least expand the parts that are a freeway? I know they are looking at plans to expanding the freeway from outside Middleton to Highway 19 at the very least but are there any other parts?


2.  I doubt it. Nothing will happen for decades, if ever. Unless traffic counts go way up, it really isn't needed except on some summer weekends.  Rehabbing US-12 between Fort Atkinson and Whitewater was supposed to take place next year, but now most of it's been pushed back to 2022.  It's just not a high priority.

3.  I doubt this as well.  While US-12 between Elkhorn and WI-20 can be a bit of a mess, it's not terrible.  And the expense and controversy of cutting through the Kettle Moraine likely means it will politically never fly.

The only way these go forward IMO is if Illinois ever upgrades their portion, which looks likely never to happen either.
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peterj920

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2017, 11:26:42 PM »

In the majors project report, US 12 between Elkhorn and Whitewater is being looked at as a major project candidate.  Whitewater is now the largest city without a 4 lane highway connection, so there may be a push to include the city to Wisconsin's freeway/expressway network.  That was the argument that Marshfield made for upgrading US 10.  I have a link to the report below. 


http://wisconsindot.gov/Documents/projects/6yr-hwy-impr/maj-hwy/status.pdf
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JREwing78

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 12:08:45 AM »

I'm pretty sure, absent a massive influx of highway funding, that nothing's going to happen to US-12 between Fort Atkinson and Elkhorn, or with US-14 between Darien and Madison. It may be on the books, but there's not much political will to fix the funding issues with WisDOT.
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GeekJedi

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 08:04:11 AM »

Now that the Baraboo Bypass is open, what is the future of US 12 in Wisconsin?

1. Will there be a bypass at Sauk City? I know there can't be any talk about it until 2020.
2. Will DOT restart plans for having a bypass in Fort Atkinson eventually?
3. Will they eventually expand the freeway end at Elkhorn to eventually connect with the Whitewater Bypass?
4. What parts of US 12 does the DOT want to turn into a freeway or at least expand the parts that are a freeway? I know they are looking at plans to expanding the freeway from outside Middleton to Highway 19 at the very least but are there any other parts?

1. I see that as likely, if the funds are available.
2. I think that ship sailed. The traffic numbers don't support it at this point.
3. Unlikely. With interstate speeds at 70MPH, and the I-90 expansion, there's no real need for it anymore. The intention of an "upgraded" US-12 wasn't to serve Whitewater with a four-lane route, it was to provide a Chicago-to-Madison route.
4. I don't see many upgrades of US-12 near or mid-term. The traffic counts don't justify it, and as time moves on, much of that corridor just isn't as necessary as it once was. With reduced DOT funding, there are many other projects that need to be at the front of the line.
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dvferyance

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 11:51:44 AM »

I really doubt there will by a bypass of Sauk City in the near future. But I could see the remaining 2 lane portion upgraded. Aside from that I would not expect many changes to US 12 in the next 10 years or so. What I would like to see is an interchange built at hwy K in Dane County but that's about it.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 12:40:15 PM »

I also think looking at some improvements between Madison and Fort Atkinson make sense.  I don't know if this would be addressed when they look at the I-39/90 interchange, but the Millpond Road and County AB intersections just east of the interchange are terrible. 
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2017, 03:52:50 PM »

I will take a wait-and-see approach, though I believe the assessments of the other posters are likely to be accurate.
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I-39

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2017, 07:26:12 PM »

Other than building a Sauk City bypass, I think the US 12 corridor is fine as it is. The corridor does not need to be a freeway from the state line to Madison as previously proposed, since FAP 420 will never be built. With the lack of transportation funding, WisDOT needs to focus on fixing and upgrading existing routes as opposed to building new.
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I-39

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2017, 07:36:55 PM »

In the majors project report, US 12 between Elkhorn and Whitewater is being looked at as a major project candidate.  Whitewater is now the largest city without a 4 lane highway connection, so there may be a push to include the city to Wisconsin's freeway/expressway network.  That was the argument that Marshfield made for upgrading US 10.  I have a link to the report below. 


http://wisconsindot.gov/Documents/projects/6yr-hwy-impr/maj-hwy/status.pdf

As a result, they wasted a ton of $$$ on building that US 10 Marshfield spur and it really wasn't necessary. You can't continue to make that argument forever, otherwise, WisDOT will be building four lane highways up the wazoo. Any four lane from Elkhorn to Whitewater will serve primarily local traffic, since it will not connect to anything regional. Since traffic counts really don't justify four lanes from Fort Atkinson to Elkhorn, I'd rather just have WisDOT improve the existing route and call it a day.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2017, 12:07:45 AM »

On the flip side, is there any desire to eventually relocate US 12 to parallel interstates in certain areas of the state?
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peterj920

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 02:14:01 AM »

On the flip side, is there any desire to eventually relocate US 12 to parallel interstates in certain areas of the state?

Doubtful since US 12/Wis 16/Wis 175 have mostly been the same since parallel roads have been built alongside them.  Wis 175 was decommissioned north of US 151 through Fond Du Lac, but in that instance US 45 was also nearby. 

I bring up Wis 175 because I thought that would be a prime candidate to be a county road, but it remains a state highway along I-41.  US 12 does carry a fair amount of local traffic from Eau Claire westward as that area of Wisconsin continues to grow. 
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GeekJedi

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2017, 07:57:52 AM »

On the flip side, is there any desire to eventually relocate US 12 to parallel interstates in certain areas of the state?

Doubtful since US 12/Wis 16/Wis 175 have mostly been the same since parallel roads have been built alongside them.  Wis 175 was decommissioned north of US 151 through Fond Du Lac, but in that instance US 45 was also nearby. 

I bring up Wis 175 because I thought that would be a prime candidate to be a county road, but it remains a state highway along I-41.  US 12 does carry a fair amount of local traffic from Eau Claire westward as that area of Wisconsin continues to grow. 

I've always wondered if they kept 175 due to it's potential importance as a alternate route in the area, especially between Slinger and FdL.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2017, 09:40:27 AM »

On the flip side, is there any desire to eventually relocate US 12 to parallel interstates in certain areas of the state?


I can see this happening in some parts.  For instance, between Wisconsin Dells and Black River Falls where traffic is pretty sparse.  It may not happen in decades, but if WIDOT gets more strapped for cash, it's a simple way to reduce mileage. 
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peterj920

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2017, 12:26:05 PM »

On the flip side, is there any desire to eventually relocate US 12 to parallel interstates in certain areas of the state?


I can see this happening in some parts.  For instance, between Wisconsin Dells and Black River Falls where traffic is pretty sparse.  It may not happen in decades, but if WIDOT gets more strapped for cash, it's a simple way to reduce mileage.

There's so many state highways that could be eliminated, but I notice that they are mainly in southwest Wisconsin and aren't kept up as well.  I have no idea why Wis 127 is still a state highway since it's an old longer alignment of US 16 that doesn't connect with any towns.  Wis 134, Wis 79, Wis 179, Wis 154, and Wis 187 are all lightly traveled and do not connect with any communities if any significant size.

Near where I am in Green Bay, County R is an alternate to I-43 that runs along decommissioned US 141.  Do not see why Wis 175, and US 12/Wis 16 could be truncated or relocated along existing interstates but WISDOT is a mysterious organization in a lot of ways where a lot of things they do are questionable.
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US 12 fan

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2017, 09:27:34 AM »

Agreed on some of these shorter highways. I have always thought Wis 134 was a pointless highway and should be turned into a county highway. I remember back in 1991 when the DOT decided to truncate Wis 142 to end at I-94 instead of Wis 32 like it used to and make that part CTH S. I thought it didn't make sense since Wis 158 should have been a better candidate to turn into a county highway.
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SEWIGuy

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2017, 11:14:50 AM »

Agreed on some of these shorter highways. I have always thought Wis 134 was a pointless highway and should be turned into a county highway. I remember back in 1991 when the DOT decided to truncate Wis 142 to end at I-94 instead of Wis 32 like it used to and make that part CTH S. I thought it didn't make sense since Wis 158 should have been a better candidate to turn into a county highway.


WIDOT is doing work on WI-134 this summer.  I would have thought this would have been a good time for a decommissioning and extension of Highway O southward.  But no indication that is happening.
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dvferyance

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2017, 02:02:21 PM »

On the flip side, is there any desire to eventually relocate US 12 to parallel interstates in certain areas of the state?

Doubtful since US 12/Wis 16/Wis 175 have mostly been the same since parallel roads have been built alongside them.  Wis 175 was decommissioned north of US 151 through Fond Du Lac, but in that instance US 45 was also nearby. 

I bring up Wis 175 because I thought that would be a prime candidate to be a county road, but it remains a state highway along I-41.  US 12 does carry a fair amount of local traffic from Eau Claire westward as that area of Wisconsin continues to grow.
IL-251 is still in existence it run parallel to I-39.
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Brandon

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2017, 02:49:00 PM »

On the flip side, is there any desire to eventually relocate US 12 to parallel interstates in certain areas of the state?

Doubtful since US 12/Wis 16/Wis 175 have mostly been the same since parallel roads have been built alongside them.  Wis 175 was decommissioned north of US 151 through Fond Du Lac, but in that instance US 45 was also nearby. 

I bring up Wis 175 because I thought that would be a prime candidate to be a county road, but it remains a state highway along I-41.  US 12 does carry a fair amount of local traffic from Eau Claire westward as that area of Wisconsin continues to grow.

IL-251 is still in existence it run parallel to I-39.

And it's pretty damn stupid south of Oglesby as well.  IMHO, IL-251 should be decommissioned and turned over to the counties south of there.
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tribar

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2017, 02:59:54 PM »

Is there a reason US 51 doesn't run on IL 251's alignment?
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Brandon

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2017, 03:19:27 PM »

Is there a reason US 51 doesn't run on IL 251's alignment?

I-39 was built as the US-51 freeway originally.  The number (I-39) was applied after the freeway was designed and mostly built.
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NE2

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2017, 04:03:25 PM »

IMHO, IL-251 should be decommissioned and turned over to the counties south of there.
Chances are it would remain state maintained like old US 66 and a lot of other bypassed alignments. Might as well sign it for navigation purposes.
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Brandon

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2017, 04:45:45 PM »

IMHO, IL-251 should be decommissioned and turned over to the counties south of there.

Chances are it would remain state maintained like old US 66 and a lot of other bypassed alignments. Might as well sign it for navigation purposes.

Actually, many of the old US-66 alignments that are not either current state highways (IL-59, IL-126 as examples) or I-55 frontage roads (of which there are many), are either county roads, township roads, or municipal streets.

IL-251 south of Oglesby is pretty much worthless for navigation as it is close enough in many cases to be an I-39 frontage road.
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NE2

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2017, 06:08:44 PM »

Actually, many of the old US-66 alignments that are not either current state highways (IL-59, IL-126 as examples) or I-55 frontage roads (of which there are many), are either county roads, township roads, or municipal streets.
Not according to GIS data. The entire length of old US 66 outside cities is still state maintained. For example, here is what IDOT maintains near Staunton-Mount Olive (sorry about the shitty cellphone photo; printscreen wasn't working for an unknown reason):

Everything in red has MNT_2=1, meaning IDOT has maintenance responsibility.
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mrose

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Re: The Future of US 12 in Wisconsin
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2017, 01:20:15 AM »

Is there a reason US 51 doesn't run on IL 251's alignment?

I-39 was built as the US-51 freeway originally.  The number (I-39) was applied after the freeway was designed and mostly built.

Yep, I-39 didn't show up until it was completed to I-80. The first segment that opened in the early 80s (I-90 to IL-5/I-88) was signed as just US 51.
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