Compass program logo

Compass is the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's (WisDOT) quality assurance and asset management program for highway operations. The program was launched in 2001 to provide a common understanding of how the citizens of Wisconsin want their state roads maintained, what it costs to get the roads there, and how close they are to this target level.

Compass uses existing WisDOT data and statistical sampling to gather information on existing highway conditions, and to tell the story of the relationship between those conditions and the maintenance budget. It puts the expertise of highway operations workers into a format easily understood by laypeople and decision-makers.

Annual Compass reports provide condition information on shoulders, drainage, roadsides, selected traffic devices, traveled ways, bridges, and winter maintenance. Compass also works with operations managers to set annual targets for highway operations conditions under current budget levels.

Finally, Compass provides support and research for the highway operations community in creating and connecting information for better management. It will help us understand the ways in which highway operations affects, and is affected by, choices made elsewhere in the organization.

Timeline 2017:

MayDraft 2016 report issued on all elements.
July - August1-day and 2-day regional training sessions attended by county patrol superintendents and WisDOT area maintenance assistants.
August 15 - October 15Statewide field review performed by county patrol superintendents and WisDOT area maintenance coordinators.
September Targets for 2018 summer season set by operations managers and supervisors; memo issued.


Everyone performing field reviews in 2017 must attend training in 2017. Those who have attended the two-day training may attend the one-day refresher training. Everyone else will need to attend the two-day training to be qualified to "rate the roads." View scheduled training dates and locations and for an online registration form. 

Compass Rating - Frequently Asked Questions


Scott Bush, Compass Program Manager

WisDOT Bureau of Highway Maintenance
Room 501
4802 Sheboygan Avenue
PO Box 7986
Madison, WI  53707-7986

Phone: (608) 266-8666
Fax: (608) 267-7856