Creation, alteration and validation of highways.
Town highways; petition to lay, alter or discontinue.
Highways abutted by state park lands; discontinuance or relocation.
Restrictions on condemning for town highways.
When supervisor disqualified; vacancies.
Notice of meeting; service and publication.
Proceedings after notice.
Order; survey; award; recording; presumptions.
Damages; agreement, award.
Considerations affecting damages.
Highways on and across town lines.
Highways on and across town and municipal boundaries.
Highways and bridges on state boundaries.
Land excluded from highway.
Highway from shut-off land through adjoining town.
Highway to islands in Mississippi River.
Shut-off school buildings; how laid.
Appeal from highway order.
Determination final for a year unless appealed.
Removal of fences from highway; notice.
Appeal from award of damages by owner.
Taxpayer may appeal; service of notice.
Selection of jury; penalty for refusal to serve.
Proceedings before jury; costs.
Appeal costs; jurors' fees.
Highway damages; when payable, referendum to town meeting.
Unclaimed awards; mortgage and lien interest.
Discontinuance of highways; reversion of title.
Highway papers, where filed.
Highway orders; presumptions; limitation of actions.
Lost records; how restored; effect.
Changing streets into highways.
County board power to lay, alter and discontinue town highways.
Control of highways laid by county.
Discontinuing ways to waters.
Rights of abutting owners.
Highways and streets to cemeteries and fairgrounds.
Widening of highways; establishment of excess widths.
Creation, alteration and validation of highways. 80.01(1)(1)
In this section, "recorded highway" means a highway for which the order laying out the highway, or a certified copy of the order, has been filed in the office of the clerk of the town or the county in which the highway is situated.
(1m) Validation of highways.
Any recorded highway that has been laid out by the town supervisors, the county board or by a committee of the board, or by commissioners appointed by the legislature, or by any other authority, any portion of which has been opened and worked for 3 years is a legal highway to the extent that it has been opened and worked. Any laid out highway that has not been fully and sufficiently described or recorded or for which the records have been lost or destroyed is presumed to be 66 feet wide.
(2) Unrecorded highways validated, exception; grants for highway purposes, presumptive width. 80.01(2)(a)(a)
Except as provided in pars. (b)
, any unrecorded highway that has been worked as a public highway for 10 years or more is a public highway and is presumed to be 66 feet wide.
No road or bridge built upon the bottoms and sloughs of the Mississippi River by citizens or a municipality of any other state shall become a legal highway or a charge upon the town in which the road is located unless upon petition the highway is legally laid out by the town supervisors.
No lands granted for highway purposes that did not become a legal highway prior to July 1, 1913, shall become a legal highway unless the grant is accepted by the town board or by the town meeting of the town wherein the lands and proposed highway are located, and until a resolution of acceptance of the grant is recorded in the office of the town clerk.
(3) Beautification and protection.
No lands abutting on any highway, and acquired or held for highway purposes, shall be deemed discontinued for such purpose so long as they abut on any highway. All lands acquired for highway purposes after June 23, 1931 may be used for any purpose that the public authorities in control of such highway shall deem to conduce to the public use and enjoyment thereof. Such authorities may improve such lands by suitable planting, to prevent the erosion of the soil or to beautify the highway. The right to protect and to plant vegetation in any highway laid out prior to said date may be acquired in any manner that lands may be acquired for highway purposes. It shall be unlawful for any person to injure any tree or shrub, or cut or trim any vegetation, or make any excavation in any highway laid out after said date or where the right to protect vegetation has been acquired, without the consent of the highway authorities and under their direction but such authorities shall remove, cut or trim or consent to the removing, cutting or removal of any tree, shrub or vegetation in order to provide safety to users of the highway.
(4) Highways, streets and alleys, piers, plats, curative provisions.
Every street, highway and alley, pier and slip, dedicated or attempted and intended to be dedicated in any plat or laid out, altered, vacated or discontinued, or attempted or intended to be laid out, altered, vacated or discontinued by the authorities of any county, town, city or village shall be held to have been lawfully so dedicated, laid out, altered, vacated or discontinued from and after the expiration of 5 years from the date of the deed, instrument, plat, order, resolution or other final proceeding had or taken to effectuate such purpose. No defect, omission or informality in the execution of any plat or deed of dedication or in any proceedings, order or resolution on the part of such authorities for the purposes aforesaid shall affect or invalidate such plat, deed, order or resolution or proceeding, after the expiration of 5 years from the date of the plat, deed, proceeding, order or resolution; provided, the street or alley laid out, or altered by such defective, or informal plat, deed, proceeding, order or resolution, shall be limited in length to the portion actually worked and used thereunder.
(5) Effect of reservation or exception in conveyance.
Whenever a deed, land contract or mortgage of lands abutting on an existing public street, highway or alley or a projected extension thereof hereafter executed and recorded contains language reserving or excepting certain lands for street, highway or alley purposes, such reservation or exception shall constitute a dedication for such purpose to the public body having jurisdiction over such highway, street, alley or projected extension thereof, unless the language of such reservation or exception plainly indicates an intent to create a private way. Such dedication may be accepted by resolution of the governing body having jurisdiction over such street, highway, alley or projected extension thereof.
History: 1999 a. 97
When a governmental unit shows public use of a road for 20 years or public maintenance for 10 years, a landowner claiming that the road is private has the burden of proving permissive use. Ruchti v. Monroe, 83 Wis. 2d 551
, 266 N.W.2d 309
Municipalities may incur liability under sub. (3) for failure to trim vegetation obstructing the view at an intersection. Walker v. Bignell, 100 Wis. 2d 256
, 301 N.W.2d 447
When a highway was established by user, the existence of ancient fences within 2 rods of either side of the center of the highway was sufficient to rebut the sub. (2) presumption that the highway was 4 rods in width. Threlfall v. Town of Muscoda, 190 Wis. 2d 121
, 527 N.W.2d 367
(Ct. App. 1994).