Study Newsletters, Reports, and Meetings
Frequently Asked Questions
The purpose of the study was to prepare a plan and program for rebuilding
southeastern Wisconsin's freeway system in the 21st century. The study
attempted to develop a broad understanding of freeway system needs
and, based on that understanding, build a regional consensus as to how
to best approach the inevitable reconstruction of the most heavily used
portion of our regional transportation system. The present regional freeway
system, which totals 270 miles, was built in stages beginning in 1953.
The principal reason for the conduct of the study was that much of the
freeway system is approaching the end of its economic and functional life,
and the reconstruction of the freeway system will be required over the
next 30 years. The freeway system is of critical importance to daily travel
within southeastern Wisconsin, as approximately one-third of all travel
within the Region on an average weekday is made on the freeway system.
The deficiencies of the freeway system are widely acknowledged, including
traffic accidents and safety, increasing traffic congestion, and the physical
geometric design deficiencies of the freeway system, including lane drops
at interchanges, left-hand entrance and exit ramps, inadequate merging
and diverging lane lengths, and inadequate shoulders and lateral clearance.
Upon its reconstruction, the freeway system may be expected to serve
the Region and the State for 50 years. The costs and benefits of addressing
the freeway system's deficiencies deserve careful consideration before
system reconstruction. The most cost-effective time to correct deficiencies
will be during the reconstruction of the system. Freeway system reconstruction
may be expected to entail substantial public resources; however, retrofitting
the freeway system ten-to-twenty years after reconstruction to address
these deficiencies would again require substantial public investment.