WIS 64, between Houlton and the city of New Richmond, which is classified as a principal arterial and part of the National Highway System (NHS), is an important economic link between communities located in west central Wisconsin and the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area of Minnesota. When WIS 64 was upgraded and expanded to a four-lane divided highway, constructed to freeway and expressway standards, it represented a major investment
in the transportation system of western Wisconsin and St. Croix County. Even though the current facility is and will provide adequate mobility for some time, operational issues resulting from normal growth along the corridor are anticipated to occur at the existing at-grade intersections with the highway. This study, which is independent of the Stillwater Bridge project, is a planning and preservation project that will protect the safety and mobility of the
traveling public by identifying the necessary future improvements and right-of-way needs to designate and physically convert the facility to a
freeway and expressway. These future improvements will be local road grade separations that provide connectivity to either side of the highway and possible parallel local connection roads to existing interchanges with WIS 64.
What are the study limits and what does is consist of?
The study limits are located between the St. Joseph town line (150th Street) and WIS 65 in the city of New Richmond,
an overall distance of approximately 12 miles. It will consist of declaring a
9 mile section, from the St. Joseph town line to 110th Street, as a
freeway and the remaining
3 mile section, from 110th Street to WIS 65, as an expressway, all under Wisconsin Statutes 84.295. From start to finish, the study will take roughly two years to complete and will include two main phases:
A study and Environmental Assessment (EA) phase to identify a range of alternatives that can be evaluated for social, cultural, and environmental impacts. A Preferred Alternative will be identified at the conclusion of the EA.
An Official Map will be developed for the Preferred Alternative as the last stage of the study to preserve the needed right-of-way to close or convert the existing at-grade intersections to grade-separated crossings and provide local road connections to the existing interchanges. All stages of the study will include public involvement and coordination with federal, state, and local agencies.
This project is a planning and preservation effort and as such there are no immediate plans or allocated funds for construction at this time, in fact, the
department does not foresee any improvements to physically convert
WIS 64, within the study area, to a freeway for another 15 or more years. The focus of the study is to preserve right-of-way now for anticipated improvements before development within the corridor precludes future transportation options.
An Environmental Assessment (EA) will be completed for the alternatives developed through the study process. The environmental document follows rigid federal and state guidelines to ensure that a full range of potential social, cultural, and environmental effects are considered. The EA process will evaluate and compare the effects of each alternative to determine which option achieves the goals of the study with the least impacts.
The official map is a statutory tool that is available to governments in Wisconsin as planning implementation device to preserve transportation corridors. In Wisconsin, the Department of Transportation can officially map future right-of-way needs in association with
freeway or expressway declaration under §84.295(10). An official
map can be an effective tool to limit or prevent improvements on lands that have been designated for future public use, thus saving additional acquisition costs thereby saving taxpaying monies.
I live within the study area, how will the study affect my property?
The greatest affect on lands will be between the village of Somerset and the 110th Street interchange west of the city of New Richmond. This is where the right-of-way needs for future improvements will be
officially mapped. West of Somerset, the existing facility is already constructed to freeway standards and only requires a
freeway declaration and east of 110th Street WIS 64 has been constructed to expressway standards and only requires
If you received information in the mail, you are already included in the study mailing list and will automatically receive future mailings. Other opportunities to be added to the mailing list include the sign-in sheets at future meetings or by contacting the project managers.