State Highway Rehabilitation (SHR) subprogram

​The State Highway Rehabilitation (SHR) subprogram involves three components:

Existing highways

The existing highways component of the SHR subprogram deals with improvements to the non-Corridors 2030 backbone portion of the state highway system. It funds "3R" improvements—resurfacing, reconditioning and reconstructing existing roadways—and the minor addition of lanes, traffic and safety improvements, and minor realignments of roadway.

The types of improvement are categorized as resurfacing, reconditioning, pavement replacement and reconstruction.

  • Resurfacing: rehabilitating the surface of a pavement to provide a smoother ride and to extend the pavement's structural life. This can also include pavement widening and/or shoulder paving to improve safety and reduce shoulder maintenance costs.
  • Reconditioning: resurfacing and, in addition, improving an isolated grade, curve or intersection.
  • Pavement replacement: the highest type of "resurfacing" whereby the existing pavement structure is replaced with a new one. This does not include widening of the roadway.
  • Reconstruction: total rebuilding of the highway to provide a safer facility, to improve geometrics (i.e., longer passing and stopping sight distances, broader turning radii, additional lanes at intersections) and increased traffic-handling capabilities. Other benefits include a smoother ride, reduced travel time and lower maintenance costs.

Selecting projects

County highway committees, MPOs, local officials, legislators and the public all suggest candidate projects. In addition, any projects considered, but not selected, in the last program are also included as candidates.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) regions use a computerized model of the state highway system, coupled with occasional field reviews, to determine where deficient segments either exist or will exist in the future, and to then develop candidate improvement projects that will address those deficiencies. Regions evaluate candidate improvement projects by considering such things as priority of need, use and local interest.

The regions also re-evaluate projects in the last four years of the previous Six Year Program to confirm that project scopes and schedules are still appropriate. As a result, some projects can be either advanced or deferred in the next Six Year Program.

Regions submit their recommended projects to WisDOT's central office in Madison, where they are examined for compliance with guidelines and combined into a statewide program.

State Bridges

The State Bridges component of the SHR subprogram deals with improvements to bridges on the non-Interstate portion of the state highway system, including bridge replacements and major bridge repair. Bridge rehabilitation generally increases load-carrying capacity and widens deck roadways.

The program does not include bridges that can be effectively treated through routine repair, which is funded in the maintenance program.

The types of improvement are categorized as:

  • Replacement: constructing a new bridge to replace an existing deteriorated one.
  • Rehabilitation: restoring the structural integrity of an existing bridge by using less extreme measures than replacement—usually deck replacement or overlay.

State Highway Rehabilitation - Large Bridge

"State Highway Rehabilitation - Large Bridges" are those with a deck area of 40,000 square feet or more. Objective indices are developed for each factor on all candidate bridges and priorities are set. The results are then analyzed and reviewed by engineering staff and a management team. The Highways Programming Committee evaluates high cost bridges by using information gathered by regional staff and recommends candidate bridges by assigning priorities based on:

  • structural and functional adequacy
  • economic feasibility
  • intangible considerations such as community, environmental and economic impacts

Current State Highway Rehabilitation - Large bridge projects (Updated April 2016)

State Highway Rehabilitation - Bridge

"State Highway Rehabilitation - Bridges" (decks are less than 40,000 square feet) are evaluated, selected and scheduled directly by the transportation regions. When evaluating candidate bridge projects, regions assign a general order of priority to:

  • bridges that are closed or posted
  • bridges that are structurally deficient (becoming unsafe) and not treatable by routine maintenance or are likely to become unsafe in the six-year period
  • bridges that are functionally obsolete (i.e., have narrow roadways, restricted clearances or poor alignment), and are likely to become structurally deficient within the six-year period

Backbone rehabilitation

The Corridors 2030 Backbone System consists of 1,588 miles of freeways and expressways connecting major economic areas of the state. This includes Wisconsin’s 875 miles of Interstate highways. While original Interstate construction is complete in Wisconsin, lanes and interchanges may still be added when warranted by traffic conditions.

By 2030, all 1,588 miles of the Corridors 2030 Backbone System are intended to be multi-lane.

Selecting backbone rehabilitation projects

The backbone rehabilitation program is developed based on individual project recommendations from the regional offices. Regions initially schedule projects based on individual project needs and urgency. When necessary, the Bureau of State Highway Programs sets project priorities and negotiates schedule modifications with the regions to stay within program levels and established departmental program priorities.

The Backbone Programming Committee has overall responsibility for the program.