US Department of Transportation

FHWA PlanWorks: Better Planning, Better Projects

Project Name: State Route 29
C03 Project ID: 23
Project type: Limited Access Road
State: WI
Topic Supports: Long Range Planning Application; Stakeholder Collaboration Application
SR 29 is a major east-west route across north central Wisconsin, connecting Green Bay with the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Due to heavy traffic and high rate of traffic fatalities Wisconsin DOT decided to expand the existing two-lane road to a four-lane State Road. This commitment was made by then Governor Thompson who championed the project in order to increase safety along this major transportation link.

Planning for the increased capacity occurred shortly before construction began in late 1988. Local stakeholders were significantly involved in the planning phases and participated in decisions such as the location of interchanges to serve existing and planned developments. The state DOT also worked with highway-dependent businesses such as manufacturers and transportation providers on design plans and highway access points. Communities along the corridor set up Highway 29 committees to deal with expected construction and development impacts. Wisconsin DOT created a Highway 29 Team and collaborated with the local committees, conducting outreach meetings and meetings with local governments regarding land use along the corridor. Local businesses had an interest in the location of access points along the highway and local governments initiated zoning changes based on access to business districts that were important for guiding development along the corridor.

A post-construction study done in 2001 concluded that the benefits to communities and businesses had been realized and in some cases, exceeded because of the improved access, increased commercial and industrial development, and job growth resulting from the highway expansion.