Madison Beltline Study - History

​Madison area growth from 1956 to 2012​ in relation to the Beltline

Note - Red line is the Beltline. Yellow shaded area reflects the growth of the Madison area.

  • 1956, the Beltline going around/bypassing Madison.
  • In 2012, Madison growth has expanded beyond/around the Beltline. Beltline went from a bypass to an urban freeway. Also listed are interchanges and the dates they were constructed.

Beltline history

Note - Items listed as 'Date - Project type, Activities' from oldest to newest.

​1944 - Legislative, State Highway Commission approves concept of Beltline around Madison.

1949 - Construction, Construction begins on south Beltline and east Beltline (Stoughton Road).

1951 - Construction, Park Street crossing converted to an interchange.

1952 - Construction, John Nolen crossing converted to an interchange.


  • Construction, Beltline expanded to four lanes from Park Street west.
  • Construction, US 51 crossing converted to an interchange.

1957-58 - Construction, Nakoma Road (Verona Road) interchange opened.

1960 - Construction, Fish Hatchery Road crossing converted to an interchange.

1962 - Construction, Rimrock Road crossing converted to a partial interchange.

1968 - Planning, WisDOT unveils 10-year plan to upgrade Beltline to six lane freeway.

1969-1971 - Construction, Beltline expanded to four lanes north of Mineral Point Road to east of Verona Road.


  • Construction, Beltline expanded to six lanes east of Verona Road to east of Fish Hatchery Road.
  • Planning
    • Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD)
    • Approval for six lane South Beltline from South Towne Drive (Broadway).

1976 - Legislative, Referendum stops south Beltline project due to wetland concerns with Mud Lake.

1979 - Construction, Verona Road interchange expanded.

1981 - Planning, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process restarted for south Beltline from South Towne Drive to I-90.

1984 - Planning

  • FEIS and ROD
  • Approval for south Beltline from South Towne Drive to I-90.

1987-1989 - Construction, Beltline expanded to four lanes west of Todd Drive to I-39/90.

1988-1989 - Construction, Beltline expanded to four lanes from highway 14 to north of Mineral Point Road.

1989 - Construction, South Beltline from South Towne Drive to I-90 constructed.

1992-1993 - Construction, US 12/18 expanded to four lanes east of I-39/90 to east of County N.


  • Planning, Needs Assessment (NA). Operational and safety needs of Beltline identified in report.
  • Construction, Triple left turn lane added on Verona Road westbound off-ramp.


  • Planning, Alternatives analysis. Reviewed a series of alternatives for the west Beltline and Verona Rd.
  • Planning, NEPA process started. Developed and evaluated alternatives for Beltline corridor, Beltline crossings, Verona Road corridor.
  • Construction
    • Auxiliary lanes added on Beltline.
    • Ramp meters.


  • Planning, Draft EIS (DEIS) released for west Beltline and Verona Road corridors.
  • Construction, US 12 expanded to four lanes north of highway 14.

2005 - Construction, Agricultural Drive overpass constructed.

2005-2006 - Construction, Middleton bypass constructed.

2006 - Construction, Improvements to Todd Drive portion of Beltline.

2008 - Planning, Study, Report - Beltline Safety and Operational Needs Study.

2008-2014 - Ramp improvements, auxiliary lane additions, and pavement and structure rehabilitation, various locations.


  • Planning, Verona Road Supplemental Draft EIS (SDEIS) released for only Verona Road Corridor.
  • Park Street interchange reconstructed.


  • Planning, FEIS and ROD. Verona Road ROD obtained for single point interchange and jug-handle intersection.
  • Legislative, Transportation Projects Commission authorizes study of the Beltline.


  • Construction, Fish Hatchery interchange reconstructed.


  • Construction, Verona Road Interchange
  • Construction, Intersection improvement, US 12 and Millpond Road


  • Bridge preventative maintenance on Yahara River Bridges


  • Repair structural elements on Yahara River Bridges
  • Bridge painting on Park Street and Rimrock Road Bridges
  • Bridge concrete surface repair and replacement, Terrace Ave Bridges
  • Replace Bridge at High Point Road (including addition of multi-use trail on bridge)


  • Pavement Maintenance (Concrete/ Asphalt patching), Fish Hatchery Road to Interstate 39/90


  • Resurfacing from Seminole Highway to Interstate 39/90
  • Resurfacing (including addition of median cable guard), Whitney Way to Mineral Point Road


  • Repair structural elements, South Towne Drive Bridge


  • ​Flex Lane opened between I-39/90 and Verona Road​​