Madison Beltline Study

Corridor Study location | Study background | PEL Study details (current phase) | PEL Study outcome | What happens next? | PEL Study schedule | Status/phase | Contact information

Public involvement meetings were held on May 28 (virtual) and May 29 (in-person) to discuss the Beltline Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) corridor study underway to the Madison Beltline. Please visit the Public Involvement page to view the presentation, meeting exhibits, and learn more.

Corridor Study location

The Madison Beltline (US 12, 14, 18 and US 151) Study limits extend along 19 miles of US 12, from US 14 in Middleton to County N in Cottage Grove, in Dane County

Study background

In November 2011, Wisconsin’s Transportation Projects Commission authorized the study of long-term solutions for the Madison Beltline from US 14 in Middleton to County N in Cottage Grove. To complete the study, WisDOT will use a three phase study process.

  1. The first phase of this process, collected and analyzed origin-destination (O-D) information for motorized vehicles on the Beltline and in the surrounding Dane County area. The O-D report was completed in 2014.
  2. The second and current phase, which began in 2013, is a Planning and Environment Linkages (PEL) Study. The study was paused in 2016 due to reevaluation of statewide priorities. It was restarted in 2020.
  3. Following completion of the PEL phase, WisDOT anticipates beginning the third phase of the study, which is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) phase, which could include the development of one or more environmental documents.

PEL Study details (current phase)

The Madison Beltline PEL Study is a planning-level analysis of the effectiveness of all possible solutions to the Madison Beltline's current and long-term needs; in particular, determining to what extent possible solutions would address the existing safety, capacity and geometric issues as well as meet identified study objectives.

In addition to improvements to the physical Beltline or crossings of the Beltline, changes or improvements to alternate modes of travel, other area transportation corridors, and existing Beltline connections to the adjacent road network are being analyzed.

Issues and impacts that may result from each potential solution will be documented.

PEL Study outcome

The outcome of the PEL Study will be a final PEL summary report. The PEL summary report will include a description of all strategies considered and documentation showing whether, and to what extent, each addresses the existing Beltline issues and accommodates future growth in the Madison area.

Potential strategies that do not address Beltline issues or are not reasonable will not be studied in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental analysis process (which is anticipated to follow the PEL Study).

What happens next?

The NEPA environmental analysis process, that is anticipated to follow the PEL Study, will conduct a detailed investigation of strategies identified in the PEL summary report that have potential to address Beltline issues.

The potential strategies would be refined in the NEPA process to address Beltline issues and minimize and mitigate impacts and cost.

PEL Study schedule

The PEL study is expected to be completed in summer/fall 2024. There will be ongoing public engagement during the PEL study. To learn more about upcoming public involvement, see the public involvement page.


This is a long-term planning study, no construction projects are identified at this time.

Contact information

Jeff Berens
WisDOT Major Studies Project Manager
(608) 245-2656

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

Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT)
Southwest Region, Madison Office
2101 Wright St.
Madison, WI 53704
Phone: (608) 246-3800
TTY: 711