Find
a DNR transportation liaison staff by county [PDF].
Read
the DNR-DOT cooperative agreement [PDF].
Contact information
For information about transportation liaisons, contact:
Mike Halsted
Transportation policy coordinator &
Transportation sector development specialist
Bureau of Energy, Transportation & Environmental Analysis
608-345-3577

Transportation projects

Wisconsin has a comprehensive transportation network that includes roads, highways, airports, railroads and harbors. This system is essential to our economy because it moves workers to jobs, raw materials to factories, finished products to markets and travelers to their destinations. Building and maintaining transportation infrastructure can, however, result in environmental impacts to waterways, wetlands, fisheries, endangered species and other resources.

Transportation liaisons

Transportation liaisons

Waupaca County trout stream culvert
A local road culvert on a Waupaca County trout stream is analyzed by DNR ETEA staff.

The DNR's Bureau of Energy, Transportation and Environmental Analysis (ETEA) works cooperatively with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) and with local governmental transportation agencies to avoid and minimize environmental concerns with the construction and maintenance of highways, roads, bridges, culverts, airports, railways and harbors. For each county, there is an ETEA regional staff person who serves as the transportation liaison [PDF] contact.

Throughout the process of planning, building and maintaining transportation projects, DNR works together with DOT on a wide variety of environmental issues. Under the DNR-DOT Cooperative Agreement [PDF], DOT is not required to obtain permits from the DNR. County, city, village and town governments must obtain waterway, wetland and stormwater permits for transportation projects that they propose.

Permits

Permitting for local transportation projects

Local units of government must obtain waterway, wetland and stormwater permits for transportation projects they propose. Local transportation officials and their consultants can find permit information and forms below.

Please contact the DNR transportation liaison [PDF] for your county to discuss your project prior to applying.

Municipal transportation general wetland & waterway permit (GP)


The WDNR-GP2-2012 General Permit for Municipal Bridges, Arches & Culverts [PDF] is a general permit (GP) that is available for a discharge to waters and wetlands of no more than 10,000 square feet that is necessary for the construction, reconstruction or maintenance of a roadway, bridge, arch or culvert that is being carried out under the direction and supervision of a city, village, town or county, under s. 30.123, Wis. Stats.

See WDNR-GP2-2012 General Permit Application Checklist [PDF] for detailed instructions. A complete application for the GP includes the following items:

  1. A completed and signed Water Resources Application for Project Permit (WRAPP) (3500-053) [PDF] certifying that the project meets the terms and conditions of WDNR-GP2-2012.
  2. Project plans or schematic drawings.
  3. Maps of the project site that show clear directions to the project site with project and property boundaries clearly labeled.
  4. Photographs that represent existing site conditions where the project will occur.
  5. An alternatives analysis including detailed documentation that clearly demonstrates why the impact to the wetland cannot be avoided and how the impact to the wetland will be minimized.
  6. Attachment A – Municipal Supplemental Worksheet [PDF] is needed for culvert and bridge projects that need to consider stream connectivity

All application materials can be sent to Maureen Millmann, municipal road permitting coordinator, via e-mail at Maureen.Millmann@Wisconsin.gov. Hard copies or applications on CD can be sent to Maureen Millmann, WDNR, 2300 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53212.

General permit WDNR-GP2-2012 authorizations are provisional and require that project proponents obtain any other local, state or federal permits before any work may proceed. Please contact the county zoning administrator to determine if permits are needed.

Municipal transportation individual wetland & waterway permit (IP)


Please contact the DNR transportation liaison [PDF] for your county to set up a pre-application meeting before applying for an individual permit.

See the Municipal Transportation Pre-Application Meeting Checklist [PDF] to adequately prepare the necessary materials for initial consultation.

See Municipal Transportation Projects Individual Permit Checklist [PDF] for detailed instructions. A complete application for the IP includes the following items:

  1. A completed and signed Water Resources Application for Project Permit (WRAPP) (3500-053) [PDF].
  2. Project plans or schematic drawings.
  3. Maps of the project site that show clear directions to the project site with project and property boundaries clearly labeled.
  4. Photographs that represent existing site conditions where the project will occur.
  5. A completed Municipal Transportation Project Practicable Alternatives Analysis [PDF].

All application materials can be sent to Maureen Millmann, municipal road permitting coordinator, via e-mail at Maureen.Millmann@Wisconsin.gov. Hard copies or applications on CD can be sent to Maureen Millmann, WDNR, 2300 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53212.

Stormwater permitting

The Wisconsin Pollutant Elimination Discharge System (WPDES) Notice of Intent Permit process is used to regulate all stormwater discharges that result from disturbing one or more acres of land. This permit is needed for both transportation and non-transportation related projects. See Construction site stormwater permits for more information.

Federal permitting

United States Army Corps of Engineers wetland permits [exit DNR] are required for discharges to federal wetlands. For public transportation projects, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued general permit GP-003-WI [PDF exit DNR]. This federal general permit may be used for activities whose purpose is to construct, expand or improve transportation projects (e.g., roads, highways, railways, airport runways and taxiways) in waters of the United States.

Environmental impacts

Potential environmental impacts

Beaver Creek bottomless culvert
Staff from the DNR take measurements at a highway-stream crossing. A new bottomless culvert structure was installed that allows fish and other aquatic animals to pass.

Crossing waterways and wetlands with roads, bridges, culverts and runways can result in water flow changes and habitat impacts. Aquatic habitat can be lost due to shoreline armoring and dredging activities. Siltation of waterways and wetlands can result from inadequate erosion control measures on construction projects. Fish and other aquatic animals can be blocked from passing through an improperly designed bridge or culvert.

Improper timing of construction and maintenance projects can impact bird, bat and fish reproductive cycles. Invasive species can be spread by construction and maintenance activities, as well as by vehicles using transportation facilities. Habitat fragmentation and disruption of animal movements can also result from siting transportation facilities.

Emergencies

Emergency maintenance and construction

Emergency maintenance and construction on public municipal roads require coordination with DNR and may need permits. The DNR is committed to working with municipalities to provide quick turnaround on decisions and consultation.

If temporary repairs need to take place immediately to open the road and provide public access, debris and sediment must be disposed outside of waterways, wetlands and floodplains.

If the proposed improvement is to repair or replace the road, bridge or culvert to pre-flood conditions in-kind and at the same location, and includes best management practices for erosion control, DNR review will be simplified and expedited.

Please contact the DNR transportation liaison [PDF] for your county.

Funding

Funding for projects to improve stream connectivity

There are many opportunities [PDF] to secure additional funding for projects that strive to improve stream connectivity. Opportunities include:

  • inventories of streams within a watershed,
  • replacing barriers on trout streams,
  • replacing barriers near lakes,
  • projects in flood damaged areas,
  • projects in the Great Lakes watershed, and
  • replacement of high priority barriers to stream connectivity.
Learn
more about funding opportunities.

 

 

To learn about assessing stream crossings, check out Great Lakes Road Stream Crossing Inventory Data Sheet [PDF] and Great Lakes Road Stream Crossing Inventory Instructions [PDF].

DNR staff may also be available to teach data collection methods. For assistance training volunteers, contact:

Last revised: Monday June 23 2014