I-39/90/94 Study - Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Who is conducting the study?

WisDOT’s Southwest Region initiated the I-39/90/94 Corridor Study.

Why is WisDOT studying this corridor?

I-39/90/94 is a principal arterial highway and part of the Wisconsin Backbone System. It serves as the primary long truck route and regional vehicle corridor through Wisconsin. It is an essential component of Wisconsin's economy. This segment connects the Madison metro area to Wisconsin Dells and tourist destinations in northern Wisconsin and links major metropolitan centers Minneapolis and Chicago. Growing traffic volumes, crash numbers, and roadway and bridge deterioration has prompted WisDOT to examine the corridor to maintain its viability in the future. The most important aspect of this study is determining how best to support the future functional integrity of this important arterial.

What are the limits of the study?

I-39/90/94 from US 12/18 (Beltline) in Madison to just north of the US 12/WIS 16 interchange in Wisconsin Dells. The study will also evaluate I-39 from the I-39 and I-90/94 split near Portage to Levee Road.

View the I-39/90/94 Corridor Study area on a larger map

What does the I-39/90/94 Study involve?

WisDOT has no immediate construction planned on I-39/90/94 nor funding allocated beyond the study phase.

The study will end with the completion of an environmental impact statement (EIS). After the EIS review and approval process, the Transportation Projects Commission (TPC) must approve the project before it can proceed to final design and construction.

WisDOT’s study will provide a comprehensive analysis of existing conditions and identify the corridor location and modal choice for a future project from US 12/18 (Beltline) in Madison Dane County to Dees Road US 12/WIS 16 in Juneau County, just north of the US 12/WIS 16 interchange in Wisconsin Dells.

What is National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)?

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law on January 1, 1970. NEPA requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions. The range of actions covered by NEPA is broad, including constructing highways and other publicly-owned facilities. Using the NEPA process, agencies evaluate the environmental and related social and economic effects of their proposed actions. Agencies also provide opportunities for public review and comment on those evaluations.

What is an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)?

An EIS is a document that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires for federally funded actions that could significantly affect the quality of the human environment. An EIS is a tool for decision-making, detailing a proposed action's positive and negative environmental effects. An EIS typically includes the following content:

  • Purpose and need statement: Identifies the purpose of the study and the issues identified with the project area.
  • Alternatives: Describes alternatives under for consideration that could address the purpose and need of the study.
  • Affected environment: Describes the environment of the area the alternatives could affect.
  • Environmental consequences: Discusses the environmental effects and their significance.

What types of long-term improvements will the study consider?

The study process includes developing a range of alternatives–including potentially expanding capacity, Transportation Demand or System Management options or others within the study corridor – to preserve functionality and increase safety along I-39/90/94.

Will there be opportunities for public input?

Yes, the study process will provide ongoing opportunities for public involvement and input.

WisDOT encourages the public to visit this website for updates. The study webpages include comprehensive information about opportunities for involvement and contact information for study team members.

During the study, WisDOT will conduct several Public Involvement Meetings (PIMs) at various locations throughout the study area, and numerous smaller meetings with local municipality representatives, neighborhood associations and business groups.

  • Comment online via the following link: Comment now
  • Share comments at PIMs and other meetings
  • Send comments via email to study staff

WisDOT will use traditional and digital communication methods to announce public involvement opportunities and study updates.

Will this study be planning an off-alignment bypass alternative?

The current study will focus on design alternatives within the existing corridor and will not seek the study of any bypass alternatives.

Whom do I contact with questions?

David Schmidt, P.E.​
WisDOT Study Manager
(608) 246-3867

Michael Bie
WisDOT Southwest Region Communications Manager
(608) 246-7928