WIS 42 - Door County, Ephraim Shoreline

​​​​Map of project location

UPDATE: Construction complete April 2022. Website for reference only. 

​​​​This webpage details proposed improvements to permanently stabilize a portion of the Lake Michigan shoreline along WIS 42 in the village of Ephraim, Door County.​


  • Approximately 500 feet of WIS 42 shoreline in the village of Ephraim, Door County, near Brookside Lane at Ephraim Creek.
  • View project location in map

Project need

In recent years, high water and wave action in the bay of Green Bay began eroding the shoreline in the village of Ephraim, jeopardizing the integrity of the WIS 42 roadway and plugging the outlet of Ephraim Creek. In 2019 WisDOT constructed a temporary rock wall ​along the shoreline to dissipate incoming wave energy, halt erosion, and protect WIS 42. WisDOT has since investigated design alternatives for permanent shoreline stabilization to replace the temporary rock wall and ensure future high water/wave action does not cause further issues to the roadway or outlet.

Alternatives studied

Map of approximate project limits 

WisDOT initially studied five alternatives for permanent shoreline stabilization. After meeting with various environmental agencies and stakeholders, a sixth alternative was added based on input received and recent falling water levels.

WisDOT selected alternative 6, Embedded Concrete Block Revetment.

A conceptual plan and cross section view is available for each proposed alternative below, and the selected Alternative 6.

  • Alternative 1 – Rock Revetment
    • This alternative consists of placing large rock armor that tapers down into the water which armors the shoreline and protects it against destructive wave energy during storm events.

    Temporary rock wall 

  • Alternative 2 – Buried Rock Revetment​
    • This alternative consists of placing a smaller amount of large rock armor than Alternative 1, but also includes placing a layer of sand that covers the rock armor and tapers into the water to dissipate wave energy. This alternative also includes a rock groin on the western edge of the Ephraim Creek outfall to reduce sedimentation and plugging of the Ephraim Creek mouth.
  • Alternative 3 – Detached Breakwater
    • This alternative consists of placing offshore breakwaters constructed of large rock armor and additional sand placed along the shoreline. This alternative also includes a rock groin on the western edge of the Ephraim Creek outfall to reduce sedimentation and plugging of the Ephraim Creek mouth.
  • Alternative 4 – Rock Sill with Living Shoreline
    • This alternative consists of placing an offshore breakwater or “sill” constructed of large rock armor with sand fill and wetland plant species placed between the sill and the current shoreline. Different from alternative 3, this alternative would not result with water between the breakwater and the current shoreline.
  • Alternative 5 – Sheet Pile Lake Wall
    • This alternative consists of placing a steel sheet pile lake wall constructed adjacent to WIS 42 with abutting scour protection constructed of large rock tapered into the water.​

Selected Alternative

  • Alternative 6 - Embedded Concrete Block Revetment
    • This alternative consists of burying large precast concrete blocks adjacent to and within the WIS 42 right-of-way line. The concrete blocks will be further supported on both sides with stone/aggregate backfill and buried with native sand/soil. Although similar to alternatives 2 and 5, this alternative differs in that it is lower in elevation (buried), generally matching and blending into the adjacent terrain elevations. This alternative also includes stabilization of the shoreline adjacent to the Ephraim Creek outlet by reshaping and re-using some of the existing riprap from the temporary rock wall​.​

To better understand how each alternative compares with the other alternatives, please see our Alternative Comparison Matrix.

Public Outreach

Numerous agency and stakeholder meetings have been held to review possible plans and alternatives. Virtual Stakeholder/Property owner meetings took place March 24 and July 19 this year to to review the proposed project purpose, need and alternatives.

Proposed schedule

  • Real Estate Process: Summer/fall 2021
  • Final Plans: Fall 2021
  • Bid Letting: Winter 2021/2022
  • Construction: April 2022 PROJECT COMPLETE

Proposed traffic impacts

Lane and shoulder closures. Flagging operations in the project work zone as necessary.

Real estate process

  • Permanent limited easements (PLEs), temporary limited easements (TLE​s), or new right of way may be necessary for the construction of this shoreline stabilization project.
    • If your property is affected, a member of WisDOT real estate will contact you.


WisDOT and environmental agencies met February 23, 2021, to discuss alternatives. Agencies involved include Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, United State Army Corps of Engineers, United States Coast Guard, and Door County Land Conservation Committee. WisDOT will continue to coordinate with these and potentially ​other agencies to obtain the necessary permits and approvals to construct this project.

Depending on the alternative selected and final design details, construction operations may have an impact on the natural environment on the bay of Green Bay, Ephraim Creek, associated shorelines, and associated wildlife species. Construction operations may also have an impact to adjacent property owners and community.

​Project contact for questions or information

Paul Brauer, P.E., Project Manager
WisDOT Northeast Region
944 Vanderperren​​​ Way
Green Bay, WI 54304
(920) 366-1097