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.
Right of entry.
The department or its authorized representatives may enter private lands to make surveys or inspections.
Reports and bulletins.
The department shall issue such bulletins, pamphlets and literature as it deems necessary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Transportation administrative facilities.
The department may acquire, construct, develop, enlarge or improve administrative or operating facilities for its use under sub. (30)
or s. 13.48 (10)
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.
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 sub. (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.
Accommodation of utility facilities within highway rights-of-way.
Notwithstanding ss. 84.06 (4)
, and 84.093
, the department may, upon finding that it is feasible and advantageous to the state, negotiate and enter into an agreement to accept any plant or equipment used for the conveyance, by wire, optics, radio signal, or other means, of voice, data, or other information at any frequency over any part of the electromagnetic spectrum, or to accept any services associated with the collection, storage, forwarding, switching, and delivery incidental to such communication, as payment for the accommodation of a utility facility, as defined in s. 84.063 (1) (b)
, within a highway right-of-way. Any agreement under this subsection is exempt from ss. 16.70
, and 16.85
, but ss. 16.528
, and 16.754
apply to such agreement.
Confidentiality of bidder information. 84.01(32)(a)
The department may not disclose to any person any information requested by the department for the purpose of complying with 49 CFR 26
, as that section existed on October 1, 1999, that relates to an individual's statement of net worth, a statement of experience, or a company's financial statement, including the gross receipts of a bidder.
This subsection does not prohibit the department from disclosing information to any of the following persons:
Any person who has the written consent of the person to whom the information relates to receive such information.
Any person to whom 49 CFR 26
, as that section existed on October 1, 1999, requires or specifically authorizes the department to disclose such information.
Highway project design inventory. 84.01(33)(am)
By July 1, 2014, and continuously thereafter, the department shall maintain an inventory of completed designs for highway projects such that the estimated costs of the inventory of projects for each program is not less than 30 percent of the annual amount of funding provided to each program. The department shall maintain an inventory for each of the following:
In this paragraph, “
design-build project" means a highway project for which architectural, surveying, engineering, construction, and related services are provided by a single contractor awarded by low bid or by best value.
The department shall maintain an inventory of not fewer than 5 highway projects suitable for selection as design-build projects. The department shall ensure that the projects included in the inventory under this paragraph are sufficiently developed to be selected as design-build projects. Before including a project in the inventory under this paragraph, the department shall ensure that any environmental assessment or environmental impact statement required under state or federal law for the project has been completed.
Farmland preservation exemption.
and ordinances adopted, rules promulgated, and agreements entered into under that chapter apply to the department only with respect to buildings, structures, and facilities to be used for administrative or operating functions, including buildings, land, and equipment to be used for the motor vehicle emission inspection and maintenance program under s. 110.20
Except as provided in par. (d)
, and notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or ch. 82
, or 85
, the department shall give due consideration to establishing bikeways and pedestrian ways in all new highway construction and reconstruction projects funded in whole or in part from state funds or federal funds appropriated under s. 20.395
The department may not establish a bikeway or pedestrian way as a part of a new highway construction or reconstruction project if any of the following apply:
Bicyclists or pedestrians are prohibited by law from using the highway that is the subject of the project.
The project is funded in whole or in part from state funds unless the governing body of each municipality in which a portion of the project will occur has adopted a resolution authorizing the department to establish the bikeway or pedestrian way. This subdivision does not apply if the federal government provides written notice to the department that establishment of a bikeway or pedestrian way as a part of a project is a condition of the use of federal funds for that project.
In this subsection, “sponsor" means any person, whether public or private, that enters into an agreement with the department under par. (b)
Notwithstanding ss. 86.19 (1)
and 86.191 (1)
, the department may enter into sponsorship agreements under which the department displays advertising, promotional, or sponsorship material, or other information, associated with the sponsor at locations owned or controlled by the department in exchange for the sponsor's payment of fees or provision of services to the department. Sponsorship agreements may include sponsor recognition placed on such property of the department as department documents, highway maps, the department's Internet site, department vehicles, and equipment owned or controlled by the department.
Except as provided in subd. 2.
, all fees received under this subsection shall be deposited in the general fund and credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.395 (3) (eg)
All fees received under this subsection from sponsorship agreements under which the department displays information associated with the sponsor at a passenger railroad station shall be deposited in the transportation fund.
For each agreement under par. (b)
, the contract shall be awarded on the basis of competitive proposals in accordance with procedures established by the department. Requests for proposals shall be advertised in the manner determined by the department. Each contract shall be awarded to the person submitting the most advantageous competitive proposal as determined by the department. If the proposal of the person submitting the most advantageous competitive proposal is determined by the department to be less than the estimated reasonable value to the department or not in the public interest, the department may reject all proposals. The secretary shall enter into each contract on behalf of the state. Every such contract is exempted from ss. 16.70
, and 16.89
, but ss. 16.528
, and 16.754
apply to the contract.
In this subsection, “bus shelter" means a shelter or bench located at a transit stop for use by passengers of public transportation systems owned or operated by governmental units or public authorities and that was placed in accordance with s. 86.07 (2)
, applicable rules promulgated by the department, and any applicable federal regulations.
Notwithstanding ss. 86.19 (1)
and 86.191 (1)
, and subject to any applicable federal regulation, the department shall allow any sign to be placed upon a bus shelter located on a state trunk highway, if the sign does not impair the highway or impede vehicular traffic on the highway.
History: 1971 c. 40
; 1973 c. 12
; 1973 c. 243
; 1975 c. 189
; 1977 c. 29
, 1654 (1)
, (8) (a), (f), 1656 (43)
; 1977 c. 190
; 1979 c. 221
; 1981 c. 346
; 1983 a. 27
; 1985 a. 29
; 1987 a. 27
; 1989 a. 31
; 1993 a. 246
; 1995 a. 225
; 1997 a. 27
; 1999 a. 9
; 2001 a. 16
; 2005 a. 25
; 2007 a. 20
; 2009 a. 28
; 2011 a. 32
; 2013 a. 20
; 2015 a. 55
; 2017 a. 37
; 2019 a. 18
; 2021 a. 240
; 2021 a. 267
Who to sign contracts.
The secretary, or the secretary's designees, may sign and execute in the name of the department any conveyance or any contract or agreement with the federal government or its departments, subdivisions of this state, other states or subdivisions of other states, corporations, limited liability companies, associations, partnerships and individuals.
All amounts owed by this state under this chapter are subject to being set off under s. 73.12
History: 1985 a. 29
Highway projects. 84.013(1)(a)
“Major highway project" means a project, except a project providing an approach to a bridge over a river that forms a boundary of the state, a high-cost state highway bridge project under s. 84.017
, or a southeast Wisconsin freeway megaproject under s. 84.0145
, that satisfies any of the following:
The project has a total cost of more than $30,000,000, subject to adjustment under sub. (2m)
, and involves any of the following:
Reconstructing or reconditioning an existing highway by either relocating 2.5 miles or more of the existing highway or adding one or more lanes 5 miles or more in length to the existing highway.
Improving to freeway standards 10 miles or more of an existing divided highway having 2 or more lanes in either direction.
The project has a total cost of more than $75,000,000, subject to adjustment under sub. (2m)
, and is not described in subd. 1m.
“Reconditioning" means work in addition to resurfacing. “Minor reconditioning" includes pavement widening and shoulder paving. “Major reconditioning" includes improvement of an isolated grade, curve, intersection or sight distance problem to improve safety. Major reconditioning projects may require additional property acquisition.
“Reconstruction" means total rebuilding of an existing highway to improve maintainability, safety, geometrics and traffic service. It is accomplished basically on existing alignment, and major elements may include flattening of hills and grades, improvement of curves, widening of the roadbed, and elimination or shielding of roadside obstacles. Normally reconstruction will require additional property acquisition.
“Resurfacing" means placing a new surface on an existing highway to provide a better all-weather surface and a better riding surface, and to extend or renew the pavement life. It generally involves no improvement in capacity or geometrics. Resurfacing may include some elimination or shielding of roadside obstacles, culvert replacements, signals, marking, signing and intersection improvements. Usually no additional property acquisition is required; except possible minor acquisition for drainage and intersection improvements.