County trunk highways. 83.025(1)(a)(a)
The systems of county trunk highways heretofore selected by county boards and approved by the department are hereby validated. Changes may be made in the county trunk system by the county board as provided in this section. The county board in making the changes may order the county highway committee to lay out new highways and acquire the interests necessary by the procedures under s. 83.08
. A county board may not make additions to a county trunk system from a city or village street or town road without the consent of the department and of the governing body of the city, village or town in which the proposed addition is located. A county board may not make deletions from a county trunk system without the approval of the department, and, except as provided in this paragraph and par. (d)
, without the approval of the governing body of the city, village or town in which the proposed deletion is located or, in the case of a proposed deletion affecting more than one city, village or town, without the approval of a majority of the governing bodies of such cities, villages or towns.
The county board, or the county highway committee, shall, by conference with the boards or highway committees of adjoining counties, or otherwise, cause their respective county trunk systems to join so as to make continuous lines of travel between the counties. Any highway which is a part of the county trunk system shall, by virtue thereof, be a portion of the system of county aid highways.
Any city or village street or portion thereof selected as a portion of the county trunk system prior to May 1, 1939, shall be a portion of the county trunk system. All streets or highways in any city or village over which is routed a county trunk highway or forming connections through the city or village between portions of the county trunk highway system shall be a part of the county trunk system unless the governing body of the city or village, by resolution, removes the street or highway from the system, but the removal shall apply only to that portion of any street or highway which is situated wholly within the city or village.
In counties having a population of 500,000 or more the county board may remove from the county trunk highway system any part thereof which lies within an incorporated village or city, but the removal shall not be effected until one year after annexation proceeding affecting the area in question has become final.
Whenever a county has completed a functional and jurisdictional classification of highways and the classification plan has been approved by the county board, the local governing bodies and the department, those roads and streets allocated to the county's jurisdiction will be known as county trunk highways. Additions and deletions from the county trunks under this paragraph in the various municipalities may be made as provided in pars. (a)
The county trunk system shall be marked and maintained by the county. No county shall be responsible for the construction and maintenance of a city or village street on the county trunk highway system to a greater width than are those portions of such system outside the village or city and connecting with such street. When a portion of a county trunk highway extending from one county to another has less mileage than is practical for a patrol section, such portion shall be patrolled by the county in which the major portion of the highway lies, and each county shall bear its proportionate share of the expense of maintenance, payable monthly. The marking and signing of the county trunk highway systems shall be uniform throughout the state, as prescribed by the department.
The county highway committee, subject to the approval of the county board, may enter into agreements with the department as provided in s. 86.25 (2)
Sub. (1), as amended by ch. 160, laws of 1973, does not require counties to develop a functional and jurisdictional classification of highways. Nor is a properly approved classification plan a prerequisite to a county board's exercise of its authority pursuant to sub. (1) to incorporate town roads into the county trunk highway system without prior approval of town boards. 63 Atty. Gen. 125.
Federal aid secondary highways.
The county highway committee shall cooperate with the department in the selection of a system of federal aid secondary and feeder roads within the meaning of the Federal Aid Road Act approved July 11, 1916 (39 Stats. at L. 355
), and all acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto. The county highway committee shall request and consider recommendations from the governing bodies of municipalities within the county as to eligible highways and streets within such municipalities to be selected as part of such system. The highways and streets selected by the committee to be a part of such system shall be subject to the approval of the county board.
History: 1977 c. 29
s. 1654 (8) (c)
; 1985 a. 223
Controlled-access highways. 83.027(1)
Authority of county board; procedure.
The legislature declares that the effective control of traffic entering upon or leaving intensively traveled highways is necessary in the interest of public safety, convenience and the general welfare. The county board may designate as controlled-access highways the portions of the county trunk system on which, after traffic engineering surveys, investigations and studies, it finds, determines and declares that the average traffic potential is in excess of 1,000 vehicles per 24-hour day, except such controlled-access designation shall not be effective in cities, villages and towns until the decision of the county board has been referred to and approved by the governing body of such city, village or town. Such designation of a portion of any county trunk highway in any county as a controlled-access highway shall not be effected until after a public hearing in the matter has been held in the county courthouse or other convenient public place within the county following notice by publication of a class 3 notice, under ch. 985
. If the county board then finds that the average traffic potential is as provided by this subsection, and that the designation of the highway as a controlled-access highway is necessary in the interest of public safety, convenience and the general welfare, it shall make its finding, determination and declaration to that effect, specifying the character of the controls to be exercised. Copies of the finding, determination and declaration shall be recorded with the register of deeds, filed with the county clerk, and published in the newspaper in which the notice of hearing was published, and the order shall be effective on such publication. At the time of designating such controlled-access mileage, the total of such mileage in any county shall not exceed 35% of the county trunk mileage in such county on the preceding January 1 as published by the department.
(2) Controlled-access highway defined.
For the purposes of this section, a controlled-access highway is a highway on which the traffic is such that the county board has found, determined and declared it to be necessary, in the interest of the public safety, convenience and the general welfare to prohibit entrance upon and departure from the highway or street except at places specially designated and provided for such purposes, and to exercise special controls over traffic on such highway or street.
(3) Construction; other powers of county board.
In order to provide for the public safety, convenience and the general welfare, the county board may use an existing highway or provide new and additional facilities for a controlled-access highway and so design the same and its appurtenances, and so regulate, restrict or prohibit access to or departure from it as the county board deems necessary or desirable. The county board may eliminate intersections at grade of controlled-access highways with existing highways or streets, by grade separation or service road, or by closing off such roads and streets at the right-of-way boundary line of such controlled-access highway and may divide and separate any controlled-access highway into separate roadways or lanes by raised curbings, dividing sections or other physical separations or by signs, markers, stripes or other suitable devices, and may execute any construction necessary in the development of a controlled-access highway including service roads or separation of grade structures.
(4) Connections with other highways.
After the establishment of any controlled-access highway, no street or highway or private driveway, shall be opened into or connected with any controlled-access highway without the previous consent and approval of the county board, in writing, which shall be given only if the public interest shall be served thereby and shall specify the terms and conditions on which such consent and approval is given.
(5) Use of highway.
No person shall have any right of entrance upon or departure from or travel across any controlled-access highway, or to or from abutting lands, except at places designated and provided for such purposes, and on such terms and conditions as may be specified from time to time by the county board.
(6) Abutting owners.
After the designation of a controlled-access highway, the owners or occupants of abutting lands shall have no right or easement of access, by reason of the fact that their property abuts on the controlled-access highway or for other reason, except only the controlled right of access and of light, air or view.
(7) Special crossing permits.
Whenever property held under one ownership is severed by a controlled-access highway, the county board may permit a crossing at a designated location, to be used solely for travel between the severed parcels, and such use shall cease if such parcels pass into separate ownership.
Any lands or other private or public property or interest in such property needed to carry out the purposes of this section may be acquired by the county board as provided in ss. 83.07
(9) Cooperative agreements.
To facilitate the purposes of this section, the county board and the governing bodies of a city, town or village are authorized to enter into agreements with each other or with the federal government respecting the financing, planning, establishment, improvement, maintenance, use, regulation or vacation of controlled-access highways or other public ways in their respective jurisdictions.
(10) Local service roads.
In connection with the development of any controlled-access highway, the county board and city, town or village highway authorities are authorized to plan, designate, establish, use, regulate, alter, improve, maintain or vacate local service roads and streets or to designate as local service roads and streets any existing roads or streets, and to exercise jurisdiction over local service roads in the same manner as is authorized over controlled-access highways under this section if, in their opinion, such local service roads or streets shall serve the necessary purposes.
(11) Commercial enterprises.
No commercial enterprise shall be authorized or conducted within or on property acquired for or designated as a controlled-access highway.
(12) Unlawful use of highway; penalties.
It is unlawful for any person to drive any vehicle into or from a controlled-access highway except through an opening provided for that purpose. Any person who violates this provision may be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than 30 days or both.
A controlled-access highway shall remain such until vacated by order of the county board. The discontinuance of all county trunk highway routings over a highway established as a controlled-access highway shall summarily vacate the controlled-access status of such section of highway only after a traffic engineer survey investigation and study finds, determines and declares that the vacating of the controlled-access status is in the public interest. Such vacating shall not be effected until after a public hearing is held in the county courthouse or other convenient place within the county, following notice by publication as provided in sub. (1)
. The county board shall record formal notice of any vacation of a controlled-access highway with the register of deeds of the county wherein such highway lies.
This section must be satisfied to create a controlled-access highway. However, a county may adopt an ordinance to control driveway access from private property to a public thoroughfare without creating a controlled-access highway. Mommsen v. Schueller, 228 Wis. 2d 627
, 599 N.W.2d 21
(Ct. App. 1999), 98-3095
County aid; local levy; donations. 83.03(1)
The county board may construct or improve or repair or aid in constructing or improving or repairing any highway or bridge in the county.
If any county board determines to improve any portion of a county trunk highway with county funds, it may assess not more than 40% of the cost of the improvement but not over $1,000 in any year against the town, village or city in which the improvement is located as a special tax. The county clerk shall certify the tax to the town, village or city clerk who shall put the same in the next tax roll, and it shall be collected and paid into the county treasury as other county taxes are levied, collected and paid. A portion or all of such special assessment may be paid by donation.
The county board may accept donations to the county of money or lands for highway or bridge purposes, and apply the donations in accordance with the wishes of the donor as nearly as is practicable.
Any county may, by any lawful means, provide funds to match or supplement state or federal aid for the construction, reconstruction or improvement, under ch. 84
, of any highway, street or bridge which it is authorized to construct, reconstruct or improve, and to pay such funds to the department or state treasury as provided in s. 84.03 (1) (b)
Sub. (2) prohibits a county from imposing upon municipalities to share the cost of county road and bridge repair; it does not release a municipality from a voluntary agreement to contribute. Fond du Lac County v. Town of Rosendale, 149 Wis. 2d 326
, 440 N.W.2d 818
(Ct. App. 1989).
Streets and highways, construction.
Any county board may provide by ordinance that the county may, through its highway committee or other designated county official or officials, enter into contracts with cities, villages and towns within the county borders to enable the county to construct and maintain streets and highways in such municipalities.
Counties may charge 1% of a project cost administrative fee for work done on municipal roads. 63 Atty. Gen. 321.
Effective January 1, 2010, with respect to any public works or public construction project whose estimated cost exceeds $25,000, state prevailing wage rates must be paid to the employees of a local unit of government that enters into an intergovernmental agreement under this section to perform services for another local unit of government upon such a project. OAG 5-09
Projects involving county highway contracts entered into by the county highway committee or the county highway commissioner under ss. 83.035 and 83.04 (1) are exempt from county competitive bidding requirements. OAG 5-09
Highway construction by county; noncontract work; payments. 83.04(1)(1)
All highway improvements made by the county highway committee shall be by contract, unless the committee determines that some other method would better serve the public interest. The manner of advertising for bids and the forms of bids, contracts and bonds shall be substantially those used by the department. In letting a contract the county highway committee acts for the county.
If it is deemed inadvisable to let a contract for highway construction, the county highway committee may direct the county highway commissioner to proceed with the construction as noncontract work, and the commissioner may, under the supervision of the committee, employ and purchase the necessary labor and materials.
During construction the work and materials shall be inspected by the county highway commissioner or by inspectors employed by the commissioner with the approval of the county highway committee. Upon the completion of any highway job by or for the county on the county aid system or for which county aid has been granted the work shall be inspected by the county highway commissioner, and if found in conformity with plans and specifications, the commissioner shall so find and notify the county highway committee and the county clerk thereof and that the improvement has been accepted.
Upon contract construction final payment shall not be made until the work has been accepted as complete by the county highway commissioner. In case of noncontract work payment shall be made monthly upon verified, detailed, statements and payrolls prepared by the county highway commissioner and approved and allowed by the county highway committee, and all payments shall be made by orders on the county treasurer in the ordinary form signed by the chairperson of the county board and the county clerk, unless the county has adopted some different method of making disbursements, in which event it shall be according to such method and all orders shall be drawn upon and paid out of the fund provided for such construction. Said statements and payrolls shall be filed with the county clerk.
When final payment has been made upon any highway improvement, any funds remaining in the county treasurer's hands which were provided by any subdivision of the county for that particular improvement, shall be placed together with the county's balance available for that job to the credit of such subdivision of the county, and shall be used to increase the funds available for the next construction job in said subdivision, and any such balance in the bridge fund may be transferred to the road fund or vice versa by the town or village board with the approval of the county highway committee.
No order shall be drawn on the county road or bridge fund in excess of the funds available for the particular improvement for which drawn, without the authority of the county board or the county highway committee.
Projects involving county highway contracts entered into by the county highway committee or the county highway commissioner under ss. 83.035 and 83.04 (1) are exempt from county competitive bidding requirements. OAG 5-09
Improving streets over 18 feet wide. 83.05(1)
When a portion of the system of county aid highways in any city is to be improved, and the funds from the city and county are available therefor, the city may determine that the roadways shall be paved to a greater width than 18 feet. If it so decides, the city may determine the type of improvement, the width, and all other features of the construction, subject to the approval of the county highway committee. And said committee shall fix the amount per linear foot of the improvement to be paid by the county. The city shall then improve the street in the manner provided generally for making street improvements. The work shall be done under the supervision of the city, but subject to the inspection of the county highway commissioner.
Upon the completion of the work the county's share of the cost shall be paid to the contractor as though the county had been an immediate party to the contract. Unless specifically authorized by the county, the payment by the county shall not exceed the cost of 22 feet of the width of the pavement, as well as a portion of the costs of grading, draining, and appertaining structures. The balance of the expense of the improvement shall be borne by the city, and shall be provided in the manner in which expense of street improvement is ordinarily met. Assessments of benefits may be made by the city against abutting property in the manner provided where the improvement is done solely at the expense of the city, but such assessments of benefits shall not exceed the difference between the cost of the improvement and the amount contributed thereto by the county.
The provisions of subs. (1)
shall apply to villages and towns subject to the approval of the county board.
History: 1993 a. 246
Maintenance of county aid highways.
All streets and highways improved with county aid under this chapter shall be maintained by the towns, cities and villages in which they lie but this provision shall not diminish or otherwise affect the duty of the county with respect to any street or highway which is a portion of the county trunk highway system, nor the powers of the county conferred by s. 83.03 (1)
or s. 83.035
County road and bridge fund; tax levy.
The county board shall annually levy a tax of not more than 2 mills on the dollar, in addition to all other taxes, and the proceeds shall be known as the "County Road and Bridge Fund". Expenditures from said fund shall be made only for the purposes of constructing and maintaining highways and bridges under this chapter and for purchasing, operating, renting and repairing machinery, quarries and gravel pits used in such construction and maintenance.
Acquisition of lands, quarries, gravel pits; relocation; eminent domain. 83.07(1)
The county highway committee or town board may acquire any lands or interest therein needed to carry out the provisions of this chapter. Whenever the county highway committee or town board is unable to acquire the same by purchase at a reasonable price such property may be acquired by condemnation under ch. 32
The county highway committee or town board may purchase or accept donations of remnants of tracts or parcels of land remaining at the time or after it has acquired portions of the tracts or parcels by purchase or condemnation where in the judgment of the county highway committee or town board the acquisition of the remnant would assist in rendering just compensation to a landowner, a part of whose lands have been taken for highway purposes, and would serve to minimize the overall cost of the taking by the public.
In case the county highway committee or town board deems it desirable to acquire any lands or the right to take stone, gravel, clay or other material, from private lands for use in the execution of the committee's or board's duty, or to acquire the right of access to any lands, or the right of drainage across any lands, the committee or board may purchase or condemn such lands or right and take title thereto in the name of the county or town, and the cost thereof shall be paid out of the highway improvement funds.
When lands are acquired under this section to relocate or straighten any highway or to provide easier curves at highway intersections, and tracts not more than 2 acres in area remain separated from the main body of land from which they are acquired, the county highway committee or town board may, if it deems the acquisition of such minor tracts advisable or necessary to beautify the highway or to protect public travel, acquire such minor tracts in the name of the county or the town. Tracts in excess of 2 acres of like character may be acquired by agreement.
In case the county highway committee or the town board is unable to acquire needed lands or rights by contract, such committee or board may acquire the same in the name of the county or town by eminent domain, as provided in ch. 32
History: 1997 a. 253
Acquisition of lands and interest therein. 83.08(1)(a)(a)
The county highway committee may acquire by gift, devise, purchase or condemnation any lands or interests in lands for the improvement, maintenance, relocation or change of any county aid or other highway or street or any bridge on a county aid or other highway or street that the county is empowered to improve or aid in improving or to maintain. The county highway committee may purchase or accept donations of remnants of tracts or parcels of land remaining at the time or after it has acquired portions of those tracts or parcels by purchase or condemnation where in the judgment of the committee the acquisition of the remnant would assist in rendering just compensation to a landowner, a part of whose lands have been taken for highway purposes, and would serve to minimize the overall cost of the taking by the public.
Whenever the county highway committee considers it necessary to acquire any lands or interests in land for any purpose described in par. (a)
, it shall so order. The order or a separate map or plat shall show the old and new locations and the lands or interests required. The committee shall file a copy of the order and map with the county clerk or, in lieu of filing a copy of the order and map, may file or record a plat in accordance with s. 84.095
. The committee shall attempt to obtain easements or title in fee simple by conveyance of the lands or interests required, at a price, including damages, considered reasonable by the committee. The instrument of conveyance shall name the county as grantee and shall be filed with the county clerk and recorded in the office of the register of deeds.
If any of the needed lands or interests therein cannot be purchased expeditiously for a price deemed reasonable by the committee, the committee may acquire the same by condemnation under ch. 32
The cost of land and rights so acquired, including any damages allowed and other expenses connected therewith, shall be paid out of available improvement or maintenance funds.
Subject to s. 84.09 (3) (c)
and to the approval of the department, the county board is authorized and empowered to sell at public sale, or to sell at private sale for fair market value to an owner of adjacent property, property, owned by the county in fee for highway purposes, when the county board shall determine that such property is no longer necessary for the county's use for highway purposes. The funds derived from such sale shall be deposited in the county highway fund and the expense incurred in connection with the sale shall be paid from that fund. However, approval of the department is not required where county funds only have been used.
Emergency repairs of county trunk highways.
Whenever a flood or other casualty renders any county trunk highway dangerous for travel, the town chairperson may immediately close it and notify the county highway commissioner thereof, and the commissioner shall promptly make repairs necessary to render the highway safe for travel. If sufficient funds are not available in the county maintenance fund, the commissioner may, with the consent of the chairperson of the county board or of the county highway committee, make the necessary repairs, and the cost thereof shall be paid as soon as funds are available.
NOTE: 2003 Wis. Act 214
, which affected this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.
Marking section and quarter section corners in highways.
Any county board may provide that section and quarter section corners in any highway constructed in whole or in part with county funds may be marked with suitable permanent monuments or markers; and the expense of putting in and maintaining such markers shall be paid out of the county road and bridge fund or other county fund as may be determined by the county board.
As a part of any highway improvement or as a separate project under this chapter, cattle passes across highways may be constructed at places determined by the county highway committee to be necessary and practical.
The county board may erect and maintain guideboards on county aid and county trunk highways which are not part of the state trunk highway system, the cost to be paid out of such fund as the board shall direct.
County aid on town and village initiative. 83.14(1)(1)
Any town meeting or village board may vote a tax of not less than $500 to improve a designated portion of a county aid highway and may accept cash donations for such purposes, and when accepted subsequent proceedings shall be the same as if a tax of like amount had been voted. Highways in villages shall not be eligible to improvement under this section wherever the buildings fronting the highways average more than one to each 60 lineal feet of highway. The tax shall not exceed 2 mills on the dollar on the taxable property but every town and village may vote $500, and such tax shall be paid to the county treasurer when the county taxes are paid. If the total cost of the improvement approved by the town meeting or village board exceeds the amount which it is permitted by this subsection to raise by taxation in the current year, it may vote a tax of not to exceed the same amount for the succeeding year or years.
When the tax has been voted the town or village board shall petition the county board at its next annual meeting to appropriate at least an equal amount as the county's share of the cost of the proposed improvement. The petition shall designate the highway to be improved and state the character of the improvement and the amount which has been voted therefor.
The county board shall thereupon appropriate for the improvement a sum equal to or greater than the amount voted therefor by the town or village; and shall raise the same by tax on all the taxable property of the county.
No county shall be required to appropriate in any year over $2,000 for work in any town or village.
The improvement shall be performed, supervised and paid for and accepted in the same manner as other county aid work.
Construction shall not begin until the funds to pay for the same are in the county treasury and the plans and specifications have been approved by the county highway committee. After any town has voted the tax such town may borrow money for such improvement in anticipation of the tax levy and the appropriation to be made by the county board, and pay the same into the county treasury as an advance, after which construction may proceed. The county shall reimburse the town for such advance when the necessary funds become available.
Towns and villages may take the initiative in the improvement of county aid highways by issuing bonds and the funds produced by such bond issue shall be handled and expended as though raised by taxation. If the county has not appropriated a sum at least equal to the funds raised by the town or village or to the proceeds of the town or village bonds advanced to the county for such improvements, the town or village board may petition the county pursuant to sub. (2)
for an amount equal to one-half of such funds or of the principal maturing on such bonds in each year and the county shall appropriate its share as provided in sub. (3)
, subject to the limitation in sub. (4)
, until the county has appropriated an amount equal to the amount raised by the town or village or to the proceeds of the bonds thus advanced. This procedure may also be used to repay funds borrowed and advanced by a town or village for such improvements, as provided in sub. (6)
The county clerk shall, on or before January 1 of each year, file with the department a written statement setting forth the petitions granted by the county board and the improvements determined upon under s. 83.03
, the location, character and contemplated cost of each improvement, and the amount to be paid by the county and town or village for making each improvement.
Aid by county for state line bridge or highway.
The county board of any county bounded in part by a river, or by a highway, either of which is also a state boundary line may aid any municipality of such county in the construction of a bridge across such river or any part thereof, or in the reconstruction of the highway including its bridges by an appropriation therefor not exceeding one-third of the cost of such bridge or of such highway.
County may contract with foreign county.
The board of supervisors of any county in this state bordering on any stream or highway which is the boundary line between such county and a county in another state is authorized in conjunction with the board of supervisors of such adjoining county in such other state, to construct and maintain a bridge or bridges across such river at a place or places within the limits of such county or reconstruct such highway including its bridges as may be agreed upon by the respective boards of supervisors, whenever said board of supervisors deems it necessary, and to enter into a contract with such board of supervisors of the adjoining county of such other state for the construction, maintenance and repair of such bridges or highway.