Route 441 circumvents the city of Appleton, Wisconsin on the eastern side. This route, along with US 41, forms a square-shaped beltway around the city.
Project Type:Beltway Project Mode:Highway Average Annual Daily Traffic:58,000 Length (mi):10.90
Economic Distress:1.25 Population Density (ppl/sq mi):270 Population Growth Rate (%):0.75
Employment Growth Rate (%):1.11 Market Size:225,302 Airport Travel Distance:18.69 Topography:4
Region:Great Lakes / Plains State:WI County:Winnebago, Outagamie, Calumet
City:Appleton Urban/Class Level:Metro Local Area:N/A
Impact Area:County Transportation System:Highway GIS Lat/Long:44.235631 / -88.371077
Initial Study Date:1987 Post Constr. Study Date:2000
Constr. Start Date:1988 Constr. End Date:1993
Project Year of Expenditure (YOE): 2004 Planned Cost (YOE $):N/A
Actual Cost (YOE $):180,000,000 Actual Cost (curr $):221,981,260
NOTE: All pre/post dollar values are in 2013$
Select a region to display the conditions for that region:
NOTE: All impact dollar values are in 2013$
|Income (in $M's)||124.63||57.33||181.96|
|Output (in $M's)||437.85||201.41||639.26|
The completion of Route 441 created a beltway around Appleton, Wisconsin. The road was built to relieve traffic on US 41, a major north-south route in Wisconsin. Route 441 diverted traffic from US 41, and opened up access to the eastern part of the city and surrounding towns. The road has spurred development of "big box" retail and several business parks. Traditional industries like paper manufacturing are still present, but the area has also added services such as the new northeast headquarters for Time Warner cable. The bypass has encouraged low-density residential development on the southeastern fringe of Appleton. An estimated 1,500 to 2,000 jobs were created as a result of the project.
2.1 Location & Transportation Connections
The City of Appleton (pop. 70,000 in 2000 Census) is located in eastern Wisconsin near Lake Winnebago. It is considered the hub of the Fox Cities in Wisconsin, a region of 18 cities and towns along the Fox River with a population over 200,000. The city has no direct access to interstate highways but is located along US 41, which is a major north-south route in the state. This road connects Appleton to Green Bay (30 miles to the north) and to Fond du Lac and Milwaukee (40 and 100 miles to the south, respectively). The city is also served by US 10, which runs west to Eau Claire (280 miles) and to the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN (280 miles). Together, US 41 and Route 441 form an effective beltway around Appleton with a circumference of 21 miles.
2.2 Community Character & Project Context
The Fox Cities region is known as "Wisconsin's Shopping Place" primarily due to the presence of the Fox River Mall, the second largest in the state and the busiest with 12 million annual visitors. There has been significant additional retail development recently due to completion of Route 441. The region has recently seen a shift from manufacturing to more service and distribution jobs. Downtown Appleton is a banking and financial center. It also contains a high-ranked, liberal arts college (Lawrence University) and an entertainment district (including the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center). The region has been known for paper product manufacturing, and the largest employer is Appleton Paper.
The Route 441 Bypass was built with the intention of relieving traffic on US 41 (originally called the "Tri-County Expressway" for serving Outagamie, Calumet and Winnebago counties.) It was the brainchild of Gordon Buboltz, a local business owner in the early 1970's, who convinced the local governments that the highway was necessary. The local governments bought the right-of-way for the highway to enable the project to proceed.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation designed Route 441 in the mid 1980's. Construction began in 1988 and the highway was completed in 1991. The road was built to be an alternative route to US 41, with development potential a secondary factor supporting its construction. There was an existing bridge over Little Lake Butte de Morts built in 1975 (connecting US 10 and US 41) that would eventually connect to Route 441.
4.1 Transportation Impacts
Route 441 has eased traffic circulation around the Fox Cities region. The project has improved travel time for those on the eastern part of the city and for businesses that make and receive deliveries. Residents can now get to the Fox River Mall on US 41 faster. The road also allows for visitors and residents to avoid traffic congestion on US 41 as a result of the mall. Residents prefer to shop around Route 441 to avoid the traffic on US 4. Therefore, Route 441 has significantly shifted local travel patterns. In fact, the traffic induced by Route 441 has exceeded expectations (65,000 ? 70,000 vehicles per day) and is already creating a bottleneck. This is one reason the region is considering building a second bridge over Little Lake Butte de Morts to carry one direction of traffic. This would also improve safety by allowing shoulders on the bridge to be widened.
There is also a proposal for updating the interchange of US 10, US 41, and Route 441 on the southwest corner of the city. Currently, travelers coming from the west on US 10 cannot get to Route 441. This should be resolved with the proposed interchange completion project by WisDOT that would happen in 2016. If completed, it could spur further development on the west end of Route 441.
4.2 Demographic, Economic & Land Use Impacts
The region (Outagamie, Calumet and Winnebago counties) grew rapidly relative to the state in the 1990's. From 1987 to 2002, the three-county area grew 18% in population and 35% in employment compared to 12% and 30% in the state, respectively. Route 441 was crucial to the growth spurt for this period. It has spurred low density residential development all along the corridor.
At some intersections, development began occurring before Route 441 was built. However, the new road accelerated the process. Route 441 has provided businesses with visibility and enough parking to accommodate workers and customers. This has drawn new "big box" retail along the road including Wal-Mart, Target, and Kohl's. There has been significant industrial development at key intersections, including the Southpointe and Northeast business parks. This development, which serves the local population, has mostly occurred in the past seven to eight years.
The Northeast Business Park had already existed before the road opened but filled more rapidly afterwards. Now 645 of its 660 acres are occupied. This park handles various manufacturers and office tenants such as Gannett Company. The Northeast Business Park has approximately 5,000 jobs (ESRI estimate). The Southpointe Park opened after the road and has only filled 60 of its 330 acres. Recently, Time Warner Cable consolidated their regional operations at Southpointe, investing $18 million in their new site and employing 600 people. Local officials attribute much of the growth at these parks to Route 441. The decrease of congestion has also allowed for downtown Appleton to experience further development. In total, the bypass has accounted for an estimated 1,500 to 2000 jobs along the corridor.
Development along Route 441 was aided by the creation of tax incremental financing districts at both Southpointe and Northeast business parks. The city funded the infrastructure investments at the park.
The region is also well-known for having a high quality of life. There is low crime, low cost of living and a highly educated workforce. In addition to Lawrence University, Fox Valley Technical College offers various training programs from law-enforcement training to truck driving. A pro-active business retention strategy focuses on keeping businesses in the community and helping them expand.
Fox Cities Economic Development Partnership
Appleton Community Development
East Central WI Regional Planning District
City of Menasha
Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce
Case Study Developed by Economic Development Research Group, Inc.