US 10, I-39 (Stevens Point) to Lake Drive (Amherst Junction)
US 10 is an east/west Principal Arterial route serving central Wisconsin. It is a major commercial truck route connecting east-central Wisconsin and the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. It serves as an important regional, state and national link for business, industry and agriculture. It is a key recreational travel route and is vital to the local distribution of agricultural and industrial commodities to the local market.
Because of increased development and access demands on US 10, east of I-39 in Stevens Point, the highway began to function less like a regional state system and more like a local arterial. Anticipating that one day this section would no longer be able to safely accommodate regional and local traffic, WisDOT began the process of identifying a potential future alignment for the highway.
The corridor preservation study was initiated in 2002. The objective was to identify a future location for the highway and to officially map all of the right of way needed. State Statute 84.295 allows WisDOT to preserve right of way that may be required for transportation purposes.
A preferred alternative for a future US 10 location was identified with the completion of the environmental document in 2012.
The official mapping has not been completed.
What is official mapping?
Officially mapping is a statutory tool used to preserve property (right of way) for future transportation use. It can be effective for limiting or preventing improvements on lands that have been designated for future public use; saving additional acquisition costs and saving state taxpayer money.
Officially mapping corridors also helps local governments plan for land use and economic development opportunities.
How would a decision to officially map a new US 10 corridor impact property owners?
If your property is located within the officially mapped corridor, WisDOT would document that information on the deed for your property. Property owners would be required to notify WisDOT of any future improvement that falls within the mapped limits. The department reserves the right to either purchase the property at fair market value or allow the property owner to go ahead with the proposed modification.
If a property owner makes any modification to the mapped section of the property -- without providing proper notification -- WisDOT is not required to compensate the owner for that improvement if WisDOT decides to purchase the property.
WisDOT's new preferred alternative
Based on all information gathered, we no longer believe that it is necessary to preserve right of way, or construct a new alignment for US 10 in this area.
The department is proposing to discontinue officially mapping the right of way needed for a new US 10 alignment. This selection was determined based on:
- Increased statewide transportation needs and funding constraints require that we prioritize statewide roadway improvement needs. It is important that we focus on improving the existing system versus constructing a new corridor that would not provide a significant benefit.
- Traffic counts indicate approximately 30,000 vehicles per day currently travel the existing section of US 10 between I-39 and the Stevens Point city limits. Approximately 18,000 vehicles will continue to use the existing alignment of US 10, even if a new alignment is constructed.
- Without a significant diversion of traffic from the existing alignment, the department would still need to invest in ensuring the safety and operations of the existing alignment. The costs to improve the existing alignment would be in addition to the approximately $200 million to $250 million to construct a bypass.
- The majority of comments received from the June 13, 2016 public involvement meeting favored no longer preserving the right of way
WisDOT conducted a public hearing on July 18, 2017. The comment period ended on August 4, 2017. We are reviewing all public testimony received at the hearing and input received in writing. After that process is completed we will seek regulatory agency concurrence to make the final determination of whether or not to preserve/map the corridor.
If the final determination is to discontinue corridor preservation/official mapping:
- The environmental document for the official mapping will be closed.
- Parcels previously identified within the mapping limits of the environmental document will not be impacted.
- The department will continue to maintain and monitor the safety of existing US 10.
- The department will study available options to improve the operations of the existing US 10.
If the determination is to continue corridor preservation/official mapping the department will reinitiate the public outreach process.