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.

The Compass Program has been changed to a biennial cycle, beginning in 2018.

Program Timeline:

June 2018Final 2017 report issued on all elements.
​July 2018 - October 2018​Program off-year; no training or ratings.
​September 2018Targets ​for 2019 non-winter maintenance activities set by Bureau of Highway Maintenance; memo issued.
​July 2019 - August 2019​1-day and 2-day region training sessions attended by county patrol superintendents and  WisDOT region maintenance coordinators.
​August 15, 2019 - October 15, 2019​Statewide field review performed by trained county patrol superintendents and WisDOT region maintenance coordinators.
​September 2019​Targets for 2020 non-winter maintenance activities set by Bureau of Highway Maintenance; memo issued.


Everyone performing field reviews in 2019 must attend training in 2019. 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

Compass Rating - Frequently Asked Questions


Scott Bush, Compass Program Manager

WisDOT Bureau of Highway Maintenance
South Fifth Floor
4822 Madison Yards Way
PO Box 7986
Madison, WI  53707-7986

Phone: (608) 266-8666