US 51 South Study Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  1. Who is conducting this study?

    1. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Southwest Region and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are conducting the study.

  2. Why was the previous study postponed? How are these studies different from the previous study?

    1. In November 2017 the previous study was postponed while WisDOT re-evaluated planning priorities statewide. A new study of US 51 was approved in late 2021 with a new approach, utilizing two separate studies.
    2. Two separate studies, a south corridor and a north corridor will allow the study teams to address issues and needs specific to each unique corridor. Special consideration will be given to the city of Madison’s Stoughton Road Revitalization Project Plan in the south corridor and to the city of Madison’s Hanson Road Neighborhood Development Plan in the north corridor
    3. Information completed during the previous study will be utilized in the new studies to the extent practicable.

  3. What are the Stoughton Road South Study limits?

    1. The US 51 (Stoughton Road) South Study begins at Voges Road in McFarland, just south of US 12/18 and continues north to WIS 30 in Madison.

  4. Why is this study being done?

    1. The US 51 (Stoughton Road) South corridor environmental study is being conducted to accommodate existing and future traffic with a focus on safety issues that affect travel along Stoughton Road.

  5. When will one of these alternatives be selected?

    1. WisDOT will select a preferred alternative in late 2025 at the conclusion of the environmental review.

  6. When will the public have opportunities to comment on the alternatives and the study?

    1. Public Involvement Meetings (PIM) will be held throughout the life of the study. Anticipated dates for PIMs can be found on the Public Involvement page. Public input will be reviewed throughout the duration of this study. The public will have opportunity to comment during public meetings, or use the study comment form to leave feedback or questions at any time. Comments will be reviewed, and if applicable, responded to by the study project team.

  7. Where and how can I provide input to the study?

    1. The study process will provide ongoing opportunities for public involvement and input. The study website on the Public Involvement page has a ​“Comment now” link where comments can be provided online. Additionally, there are opportunities to share comments at the Public Involvement Meetings and other meetings. Comments can also be sent via email to study staff. Also, you can subscribe to receive study updates by signing up via the link on the study website.

  8. How is funding authorized?

    1. Funding for the project improvements would be authorized by the State Legislature. Once the environmental reviews are completed and approved by FHWA, the study will be submitted to the Transportation Projects Commission (TPC).
    2. The TPC reviews all major studies and recommends projects that most warrant funding for enumeration (officially adding a project to the list for construction through the state budget) to the Legislature and the Governor. Only after the project has been enumerated would WisDOT proceed with final design, real estate acquisition, and construction.

  9. When would construction begin?

    1. No construction activities are planned or funded at this time. The earliest construction of a preferred alternative is anticipated to occur in the late 2020’s. Short-term operational and safety projects may be completed during the interim years.

  10. What role will transit have handling travel needs in the Stoughton Road south corridor?

    1. Coordination with the city of Madison and Metro Transit will be ongoing throughout the study to determine how best to incorporate transit improvements into the proposed alternatives.

  11. How are the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians going to be addressed during this study?

    1. WisDOT will identify bicycle and pedestrian needs throughout the corridor and attempt to address issues where possible. WisDOT will work with the municipalities and neighborhoods along the corridor to determine appropriate and feasible bicycle and pedestrian solutions.

  12. Is the study considering the impact of the alternatives on the neighborhoods along the corridor?

    1. Yes, the environmental document will consider neighborhood impacts. The study will evaluate alternatives with consideration of the Stoughton Road Revitalization Plan, which supports safe access and neighborhood connectivity. The alternatives will look to address this problem by improving travel conditions on Stoughton Road. Under any scenario, balancing the issues and needs of both the neighborhoods and the highway users is important. WisDOT will seek input from the local neighborhood groups on design aspects for the study.

  13. Will noise barriers be considered during this study?

    1. A traffic noise analysis may be required. The requirement to conduct a traffic noise analysis is dependent on magnitude of changes to the roadway alignment and footprint in relation to receptors adjacent to the corridor. If a traffic noise analysis is conducted, a noise impact occurs if the Noise Level Criteria (NLC) are approached (within 1-decibel) or exceeded, or when predicted future sound levels exceed existing levels by 15 decibels (dBA). The NLC for residential land use is 67 dBA. If there is an impact, the study will determine whether abatement is feasible, reasonable, and likely to be incorporated.

  14. Is the study considering the impact of the proposed alternatives of the businesses along the corridor?

    1. The environmental document will evaluate the impact of all the alternatives on the businesses along the corridor. The study team recognizes that Stoughton Road serves one of Madison’s most important industrial areas, as well as defined areas of medical services, retail, commercial, and office businesses. The study team will meet with businesses during the study, and a Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) comprised of major employers and business groups along the corridor will be convened for recurring meetings to share project information and obtain public feedback.

  15. Will there be any Real Estate acquisition, and when?

    1. WisDOT will try to minimize impacts whenever possible. We’ll identify potential R/W impacts for alts as study progresses. Actual acquisition for the preferred alternative would occur during design phase after the study is completed and approved for final design and construction.​​