DOT abandons alternative routes east of I-39/90/94

DOT abandons alternative routes east of I-39/90/94

The Department of Transportation is abandoning four alternative routes east of the interstate and an environmental impact study to look at those routes, according to a release.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration have decided to end the I-39/90/94 (Madison to Portage) Tier 1 EIS National Environmental Policy Act corridor study, officials said.

Work on the Tier 1 EIS was stopped as of Friday, according to the release.

The corridor studies, looking at I-39/90/94 from Madison to Portage and I-90/94 from Portage to Wisconsin Dells, is being canceled due to recent and ongoing reprioritization of major transportation projects, officials said.

“Prior to termination of the study, the department was proposing to remove the East Reliever alternative corridors from further consideration,” officials said in the release.

When the Tier 1 EIS activities were stopped, the DOT was working toward finalizing the range of corridor alternatives, including four freeway corridors east of the interstate and three alternatives on the existing interstate corridor, officials said.

“Analyses of new right-of-way requirements, including home and business relocations, and wetland and stream impacts of the four east reliever corridor alternatives indicated substantially higher human and natural environmental impacts than any of the three alternatives along the existing I-39/90/94 corridor,” the release said.

The DOT will start a new National Environmental Policy Act process to evaluate replacement for the existing Wisconsin River bridges, according to the release. Any future transportation improvements along the I-39/90/94 corridor will be under a separate environmental review process.