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The US 41 Project: Frequently asked questions

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What are the US 41 construction project limits?

The reconstruction of US 41 will take place in Winnebago and Brown Counties. The Winnebago County portion will extend 17 miles from Wis 26 to Breezewood Lane. The Brown County portion will begin at Orange Lane and extend approximately 14 miles north to CTH M (Lineville Road).

When will highway 41 construction begin and end?

Roadway improvements are currently scheduled to begin in August 2009 in Winnebago County and in 2010 in Brown County. The work is expected to continue through 2017.

What will US 41 look like when the construction project is complete?

The reconstructed US 41 will include:
  • New traffic lanes along 31 miles of US 41 highway
  • 40 new roundabouts
  • 16 rebuilt interchanges including system to system upgrades at WIS 29 and I-43
  • A new, eight-lane Lake Butte des Morts Causeway
  • Widened, raised, extended or replaced bridge structures
  • New roadway pavement to replace pavement constructed between 1952 and 1974
  • New freeway lighting at interchanges, system interchanges, roundabouts and Lake Butte des Morts Causeway

Why is the US 41 construction necessary?

The US 41 Project is necessary to meet future traffic projections and to maintain safety on the highway. Also, updated designs are necessary to maintain this important economic corridor and to designate US 41 as an Interstate corridor.

How will WisDOT keep traffic moving smoothly during construction?

Every effort will be made to keep at least two lanes of highway 41 open to traffic during construction, except during certain phases of nighttime construction. WisDOT is preparing a detailed traffic management and detour plan that will be used to help maintain traffic flow and identify alternate routes. WisDOT will use the plan to communicate updated information to the public. In addition:
  • Nighttime construction is planned to help keep the construction on schedule
  • Clearly marked detours and signage will aid travelers on US 41 in Brown and Winnebago counties
  • Travel information will be available early and often to help travelers plan their routes

Will any construction activities take place during the winter months?

Yes. WisDOT will develop a construction schedule that takes into account winter weather driving conditions.

Will there be extra enforcement with this project?

Yes. Expect to see extra law enforcement patrolling US 41 during the project. Members of the Wisconsin State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will be working together to keep all motorists safe.

Frequently asked questions for US 41 businesses

How will WisDOT help affected businesses during construction?

WisDOT is providing a US 41 Project "In This Together" kit to small and medium-sized businesses located along or near the US 41 construction activities. The kit, available here, provides advice to businesses on self-promotion during construction. The kit also includes a variety of tools, including a mini-communications plan, ad templates and web tools, among other pieces.

How can small business owners and entrepreneurs get work on this project?

Firms interested in seeking contracting or subcontracting opportunities related to the US 41 Project should contact the US 41 Project Office at (920) 492-2222

How can businesses stay informed about the US 41 Project?

There are several ways businesses can stay informed about the project including:
  • Attend public meetings
  • Invite WisDOT representatives to discuss the project at your business or organization
  • Sign up to receive the US 41 Project newsletter and other mailings
  • Contact the project’s Communication Manager, Mark Kantola, at (920) 492-4153

Roundabout frequently asked questions

What is a roundabout?

Roundabouts are circular intersections where traffic flows around a center island. Roundabouts are designed to promote safe and efficient traffic flow and use yield signs at entry to control traffic instead of traffic signals or stop signs. Modern roundabouts are not neighborhood traffic circles that are used to slow traffic. Roundabouts also are not the old large traffic circles, sometimes called rotaries, which were common years ago in England and along the northeast coast of the United States.

Are roundabouts used in Wisconsin?

Numerous roundabouts are operating in Wisconsin and many more are in the planning phases. There are currently 43 operating roundabouts associated with the state highway system and 189 more are proposed. The local street system has at least 42 roundabouts in operation throughout the state. Roundabouts are located in both large and small communities including Milwaukee, Madison, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin Rapids, DePere and Kaukauna.

How safe are roundabouts?

Roundabouts move traffic safely through intersections with slower speeds, fewer conflict points and easy decision making. Studies from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety show roundabouts provide a 90 percent reduction in fatal crashes, a 76 percent reduction in injury crashes, a 30-40 percent reduction in pedestrian crashes and a 10 percent reduction in bicycle crashes. For more information, watch a video of Carmel, Indiana Mayor, James Brainerd, discuss the benefits of roundabouts in this case study

Will roundabouts take drivers longer to navigate than traffic signals?

Even though drivers must lower their speeds to enter, roundabouts move traffic more efficiently through intersections because yielding at an entry point takes less time than stopping and waiting for a green light. Also, roundabouts more effectively handle intersections with a high volume of left turns in comparison to traffic signals. To learn more about the benefits of roundabouts, visit the Roundabouts section. 

What benefits do roundabouts provide?

In addition to safety and traffic flow improvements, roundabouts also reduce vehicle emissions and fuel consumption because vehicles are not idling at signalized intersections. Roundabouts can also provide landscaping opportunities to improve roadway aesthetics. For more information, watch our informative video about roundabouts. 

How do you drive through a roundabout?

When approaching a roundabout, you should slow down and obey the traffic signs; yield to any pedestrians within or about to enter the crosswalk. Then yield to traffic from the left that is already in the roundabout. When a safe gap appears, you should enter the roundabout and proceed in a counterclockwise direction. Once you're in the roundabout, you should not pass other vehicles or switch lanes. As you approach your exit, turn on your right turn signal. Yield to pedestrians and bicycles as you exit. The rules are the same for multi-lane roundabouts. As you get closer to the roundabout entrance, it is very important to observe the signs and arrows to determine which lanes to use before entering the roundabout. Black and white signs on the side of the road and white arrows on the road will show the correct lane to use. In general, if you want to make a left turn, you should be in the left lane or other lanes that are signed and marked as left turn lanes. If you want to make a right turn, you should be in the right lane or other lanes that are signed and marked as right turn lanes. If you want to go straight, observe the signs and arrows to see what lane is correct.

Will emergency vehicles, farm equipment and semi-trucks be able to use the roundabouts?

Yes. To accommodate larger vehicles, roundabouts are designed with a “truck apron” located between the roadway and the center island. The apron is generally composed of a brick red colored concrete and is slightly raised to discourage cars from using it, while providing larger vehicles with the room they need. When trucks are entering or are within a roundabout, vehicles should never drive next to or pass a truck because they may need multiple lanes to maneuver through a roundabout. When an emergency vehicle approaches a roundabout, drivers should exit the circle and pull over.

Are pedestrians and bicyclists able to use roundabouts?

Yes. Sidewalks are generally provided on the perimeter of the roundabout. Vehicles in the roundabout should yield the right of way to a pedestrian or to a person riding a bicycle crossing in the roundabout. However, pedestrians and bicyclists who are using a crosswalk should still look for vehicular traffic before crossing. Crossing distances at roundabouts are relatively short and pedestrians cross only one direction of traffic at a time. Bicyclists have two options. They can continue through the roundabout following the same rules as vehicles or they can enter the sidewalk and proceed as a pedestrian, walking their bike.

Where will roundabouts be located along the US 41 corridor?

The US 41 Project includes the construction of 40 roundabouts. They are generally located where the interchange exit/entrance ramps intersect with the local roadway and would replace some of the adjacent intersections. For information about roundabout safety and locations, visit the Roundabouts page. 

Where is there additional information about roundabouts?

More information on roundabouts, including the informational "Take It Slow" campaign, is available on this website. You can also find information on the WisDOT website, such as an informational video and brochure