State park, forest and riverway roads.
National system of interstate highways.
Freeways and expressways.
Regulation of outdoor advertising.
Vegetation obstructing view of outdoor advertising signs.
Regulation of junkyards.
Department; relation to nonprofit corporations.
State liability; applicable laws; tax exemption; securing of federal aids.
Limitations on bonding.
Construction of state highways.
Construction of intrastate and interstate bridges.
Matching of federal aid.
Minimum federal expenditures for projects receiving federal funding.
Additional funding of major highway and rehabilitation projects.
Additional funding for major highway projects.
Additional funding for certain state highway rehabilitation projects.
Additional contingent funding for major highway and rehabilitation projects.
Additional contingent funding for southeast Wisconsin freeway megaprojects.
Funding of transportation facilities and highway projects.
General obligation bonding for highway rehabilitation projects.
As used in this chapter unless the context requires another interpretation:
“Department" means the department of transportation.
“Division of hearings and appeals" means the division of hearings and appeals in the department of administration.
“Intelligent transportation system" means a specialized computer system or other electronic, information processing, communication, or technical system, including roadway detector loops, closed circuit television, permanent variable message signs, or ramp meters, that is used to improve the efficiency or safety of a surface transportation system.
“Secretary" means the secretary of transportation.
Department powers and duties. 84.01(1)(1)
The department shall maintain its principal office at Madison and district offices at such other cities, villages and towns as the necessities of the work demand.
(2) Powers and duties; general provision.
The department shall have charge of all matters pertaining to the expenditure of state and federal aid for the improvement of highways, and shall do all things necessary and expedient in the exercise of such supervision.
(3) District offices.
Any internal reorganization of the department under s. 15.02
shall provide for maintenance by the department of district offices throughout the state.
(5) Advise local authorities.
The department shall advise towns, villages, cities and counties with regard to the construction and maintenance of any highway or bridge, when requested. On the request of any town, village, city or county board, or county highway committee, any supervision or engineering work necessary in connection with highway improvements by any town, village, city or county may be performed by the department and charged at cost to such town, village, city or county.
(6) Surveys and plans.
The department shall make provision for and direct the surveys, plans, construction, inspection and maintenance of all highways, whenever the construction or maintenance is under its jurisdiction.
(6m) Goals and accountability measures for economic development programs. 84.01(6m)(a)
In this subsection, “economic development program" means a program or activity having the primary purpose of encouraging the establishment and growth of business in this state, including the creation and retention of jobs, and that satisfies all of the following:
The program receives funding from the state or federal government that is allocated through an appropriation under ch. 20
The program provides financial assistance, tax benefits, or direct services to specific industries, businesses, local governments, or organizations.
The department, in consultation with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, shall do all of the following for each economic development program administered by the department:
Establish clear and measurable goals for the program that are tied to statutory policy objectives.
Establish at least one quantifiable benchmark for each program goal described in subd. 1.
Require that each recipient of a grant or loan under the program submit a report to the department. Each contract with a recipient of a grant or loan under the program shall specify the frequency and format of the report to be submitted to the department and the performance measures to be included in the report.
Establish a method for evaluating the projected results of the program with actual outcomes as determined by evaluating the information described in subds. 1.
Annually and independently verify, from a sample of grants and loans, the accuracy of the information required to be reported under subd. 3.
Establish by rule a requirement that the recipient of a grant or loan under the program of at least $100,000 submit to the department a verified statement signed by both an independent certified public accountant licensed or certified under ch. 442
and the director or principal officer of the recipient to attest to the accuracy of the verified statement, and make available for inspection the documents supporting the verified statement. The department shall include the requirement established by rule under this subdivision in the contract entered into by a grant or loan recipient.
Establish by rule policies and procedures permitting the department to do all of the following if a recipient of a grant or loan or tax benefits under the program submits false or misleading information to the department or fails to comply with the terms of a contract entered into with the department under the program and fails to provide to the satisfaction of the department an explanation for the noncompliance:
(7) Experiments, meetings, conventions.
The department shall conduct such investigations and experiments, hold such public meetings and attend or be represented at such meetings and conventions inside or outside of the state as may, in its judgment, tend to promote improved highways, and shall cooperate with state and national organizations in experiments and work for the advancement of improved highways.
The department shall receive gifts, appropriations and bequests made to it or to the state for highway purposes, pay all moneys received by it into the state treasury, and, as far as practicable, expend the same in accordance with the wishes of the donor, such expenditures to be audited and paid as other disbursements of the department are audited and paid, and shall apportion the allotments of state highway funds among the counties and municipalities as provided by law.
The department shall review the system of county trunk highways and alter the same so as to connect the system of adjoining counties into continuous and direct routes.
To insure modern safe design in the construction of county trunk highways, the department shall establish rules providing uniform minimum design standards for the improvement of county trunk highways. “Improvement" as used in this paragraph includes construction, reconstruction and the processes incidental to building, fabricating or bettering a highway, but not maintenance.
See also ch. Trans 205
, Wis. adm. code.
(10) Right of entry.
The department or its authorized representatives may enter private lands to make surveys or inspections.
(11) Reports and bulletins.
The department shall issue such bulletins, pamphlets and literature as it deems necessary.
(11m) Economic development assistance coordination and reporting. 84.01(11m)(a)(a)
The department shall coordinate any economic development assistance with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
Annually, no later than October 1, the department shall submit to the joint legislative audit committee and to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature under s. 13.172 (3)
a comprehensive report assessing economic development programs, as defined in sub. (6m) (a)
, administered by the department. The report shall include all of the information required under s. 238.07 (2)
. The department shall collaborate with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to make readily accessible to the public on an Internet-based system the information required under this subsection.
(12) Acting county commissioner.
The secretary of transportation shall appoint, upon the request of any county board, a county highway commissioner, who shall have all the powers and duties conferred by statutes upon county highway commissioners.
(13) Engineering services.
The department may engage such engineering, consulting, surveying, or other specialized services as it deems advisable. Any engagement of services under this subsection is exempt from ss. 16.70
, and 16.85
, but ss. 16.528
, and 16.754
apply to such engagement. Any engagement involving an expenditure of $3,000 or more shall be by formal contract approved by the governor. The department shall conduct a uniform cost-benefit analysis, as defined in s. 16.70 (3g)
, of each proposed engagement under this subsection that involves an estimated expenditure of more than $300,000 in accordance with standards prescribed by rule of the department and consider and document the results of the analysis before the determination of whether to undertake the proposed engagement. The department shall review periodically, and before any renewal, the continued appropriateness of contracting pursuant to each engagement under this subsection that involves an estimated expenditure of more than $300,000.
See also ch. Trans 515
, Wis. adm. code.
The department shall maintain in connection with the performance of necessary engineering for highway work and other functions, a materials testing and research laboratory and adequate facilities for highway marking and signing.
(15) Federal aid systems of highways.
The department shall plan, select, lay out, add to, decrease, revise, construct, reconstruct, improve and maintain, or arrange for maintenance by subdivisions of the state or by any other means, the national system of interstate highways, federal aid highway system, system of secondary and feeder roads, federal aid grade crossings projects, federal forest highway systems and projects and other highway and related projects, all within the meaning of Title 23, USC and all acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, and the federal regulations issued under such code; and receive all funds provided by any source to match or supplement such federal aid funds, and expend such funds in accordance with the requirements of acts of congress or of this state making such funds available and cooperate with federal authorities and subdivisions of the state in carrying out this subsection. This subsection shall not limit the other powers of the department relative to federal aid for highways.
(16) Notice of estimated transportation aid.
Annually, not later than October 1, the department shall notify each county and municipal clerk of the estimated transportation aid to the county or municipality for the following calendar year.
(17) Improvements for next 6 years.
In each odd-numbered year, the department shall determine, as far as possible, what improvements will be made during the following 6-year period, and shall notify the county clerks prior to February 1 of each even-numbered year, as to the improvements in their respective counties. Such notice shall also be given to the department of natural resources and to the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection.
(18) Plan for transportation financing for next 10 years.
The department shall submit a 10-year plan that includes an estimate of total transportation fund revenues, proposed bonding, and estimated debt service for each year of the 10-year period covered by the plan. The plan shall include various scenarios with different levels of transportation spending, from bond or cash sources, and different levels of revenues, with at least one scenario resulting in achieving a stable debt service percentage by the end of the 10-year period. For any scenario resulting in an increasing debt service percentage, the plan shall identify the potential consequences for specific transportation programs of reduced net revenues.
(19) Notaries public.
The department is authorized to expend from its proper appropriations a sum sufficient to pay all fees and expenses necessarily incurred in qualifying employees deemed necessary as notaries public and securing notarial seals or rubber stamps; but such notaries shall receive no fees for notarial services rendered to the state.
(21) Motor vehicle weighing stations.
The department, as a part of the improvement and maintenance of highways, may acquire, construct and maintain lands and facilities, including scales or weighing stations, for weighing, measuring or inspecting vehicles and loads operating on any public highway in the state. Lands necessary may be adjacent or contiguous to the highway and weighing station facilities may be constructed and maintained upon the traveled portion of the highway or any other part thereof. The department may not construct or locate a motor vehicle weighing facility in or adjacent to the village of Rockland in La Crosse County.
(23) Bridge standards.
The department shall adopt standards and specifications for the design and construction of county, town, village, and city bridges, arches or culverts. The standards and specifications shall be developed after consultation with the department of natural resources, and shall be directed at preventing undue impairment of public rights in navigable waters. All highway bridges, arches, and culverts constructed or reconstructed by a county, town, village, or city shall be done in accordance with these standards and specifications.
See also ch. Trans 207
, Wis. adm. code.
(26) Cooperative agreements.
The department may, by agreement with the appropriate authority of an adjoining state, arrange for performing, financing and sharing of cost of construction, maintenance and operation of any bridge or other transportation project over or upon interstate boundary waters and approaches thereto under joint jurisdiction of the department and a governmental agency of the adjoining state.
(27) Urban mass transit systems.
The department may encourage generally and provide, without limitation by enumeration, for the construction of exclusive or preferential bus lanes, highway control devices, bus passenger loading areas and terminal facilities, including shelters, fringe and corridor parking facilities to serve bus, car pool and other public mass transportation passengers and, with the approval of the local authority charged with the maintenance of the highway facility, preferential lanes for car pool vehicles. All moneys granted or allotted to this state as federal aid for the purposes specified in this subsection shall be expended by the department in accordance with the act of congress relating to such federal aid funds.
(28) Transportation administrative facilities.
The department may acquire, construct, develop, enlarge or improve administrative or operating facilities for its use under s. 13.48 (10)
or 84.01 (30)
(29) Planting of trees.
The department shall by rule establish procedures for increasing the number of hardy and aesthetically pleasing trees planted on state trunk highway rights-of-way, while maintaining highway safety.
See also ch. Trans 280
, Wis. adm. code.
(30) Build-operate-lease or transfer agreements.
The department may enter into build-operate-lease or transfer agreements with private entities for the construction of transportation projects, including any projects to be financed under s. 84.59
for transportation administrative facilities under s. 84.01 (28)
and, for projects that are not purchased by the state upon their completion, for the maintenance and operation of such projects. A project under this subsection may be constructed on state-owned land. An agreement under this subsection may not be entered into unless the department determines that the agreement advances the public interest, and the private entity has prior experience in design, construction, site development and environmental impact analysis and, for a project that is not expected to be purchased by the state upon its completion, has the capability of maintaining and operating the facility upon completion of the project. The following provisions shall be contained in any build-operate-lease or transfer agreement under this subsection, except that they shall be included in an agreement for a sale of property under par. (g) 3.
only if they are relevant to that sale:
A provision specifying that title is held by the private entity until title is transferred to the department pursuant to a lease with option to purchase at the appraised value or purchase at the appraised value of the constructed project upon its completion.
If the agreement contains a lease that provides for payments to be made by the state from moneys that have not been appropriated at the time that the agreement is entered into, a provision containing the statement required under s. 16.75 (3)
A provision specifying that the project shall be constructed in accordance with requirements and specifications approved by the department of administration or, if the project is not a transportation administrative facility, approved by the department of transportation.
A provision permitting inspection by agents of the department of transportation until title transfers as provided under par. (a)
or by agents of the department of administration during construction.
If applicable, a provision specifying that any operation and maintenance under the agreement by the private entity shall be conducted in accordance with requirements and specifications approved by the department.
A provision establishing a mechanism for the resolution of disputes.
In this paragraph, “
park-and-ride facility" means a facility with a parking lot and, within a reasonable walking distance, a station or transfer point where commuters access a mass transit system.
If the department determines that such a provision advances the public interest, a provision exempting the private entity from the restrictions under ss. 84.25 (11)
and 86.19 (1)
, and specifying any requirements that the department determines will practicably advance the purposes of ss. 84.25 (11)
and 86.19 (1)
. This subdivision applies only to park-and-ride facilities.
Notwithstanding any other statute except ss. 13.48 (14) (am)
and 16.848 (1)
, the department may sell, at the appraised value, the real estate upon which a park-and-ride facility is or may be located, if the department determines that the sale is in the best interests of the public and the department determines that the real estate will be used in a manner consistent with the state's transportation interests.