WisDOT announces Lake Country Trail underpass funding

Federal clean air program helps start construction on popular path segment

Release date:​ April 14, 2022

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) today announced that funding to complete a popular trail segment under a busy highway in Oconomowoc is available through the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) improvement program.

The Lake Country Trail underpass beneath WIS 67 will use an existing tunnel and provide a safer alternate route for pedestrians and bicyclists. The 197-foot tunnel was built under WIS 67 in 2014 as part of the highway improvement project with I-94. The recent funding will provide ADA-compliant, paved connections to the Lake Country Trail on both sides of the eight-lane divided highway and include enhanced lighting and signage. Final design and utility work is scheduled for later this year, and path construction is anticipated in the spring of 2023.

“This is a welcome step forward for Oconomowoc and Waukesha County, and a great use of CMAQ funds,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “We can make transportation investments that improve air quality and offer communities safe and popular infrastructure.”

CMAQ is a reimbursement program administered by WisDOT that provides an 80% federal cost share for eligible project costs. Project proposals must reduce criteria pollutants within areas of the state where air pollution levels exceed national ambient air quality standards. These areas are defined as either non-attainment or maintenance areas and include 10 counties in the state of Wisconsin. 

“Our city has seen considerable growth in new residential, commercial and retail development,” Oconomowoc Mayor Robert Magnus said. “We’re excited to have the Lake Country Trail finally link under WIS 67 and provide safer passage for trail users. A big thank you to all involved in working with us to complete this project.”

“The new Lake Country Trail tunnel project is a key part of the Lake Country Trail that connects citizens to neighborhoods, local shopping and parks” Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow said. “The trails that cross the county enhance the high quality of life Waukesha County, Oconomowoc, and Wisconsin are known for.”

“This outcome is the result of years of planning and collaboration at the state and local levels,” Waukesha County Board Supervisor Tyler Foti said. “Many residents have expressed concerns over this pedestrian crossing, and I am grateful that together we have found a solution that will improve the safety and well-being of the bicyclists and pedestrians who enjoy our trails.”

Waukesha County was awarded $2.28 million in federal funds through the CMAQ improvement program. Construction letting is scheduled for this fall. 

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581, opa.exec@dot.wi.gov