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Highways 10 through 19

US-10 | STH-11 | US-12 | STH-13 | US-14 | STH-15 | STH-16 | STH-17 | US-18 | STH-19 | Jump to Bottom


US-10

Western Entrance:

Minnesota state line on the St Croix River bridge at Prescott

Eastern Entrance:

Lake Michigan Carferry dock at the foot of Lakeview Ave in Manitowoc

Length:

293.19 miles

 

Map:

Route Map of US-10

 

Notes:

US-10 in Wisconsin connects with US-10 in Michigan at the Lake Michigan Carferry docks in Ludington, Michigan, utilizing the S.S. Badger carferry to cross the lake.

 

 

The portion of the US-10 corridor from Appleton westerly through Stevens Point to Marshfield is currently undergoing upgrades. At Appleton, US-10 was rerouted around town along the STH-441 freeway and US-41 in c.1994-5. From the US-10 & STH-441 junction on the south side of Appleton, US-10 was rerouted to run west along the STH-441 freeway past Menasha, crossing Little Lake Butte Des Morts on the Kampo Bridge, to US-41. From there, US-10 was routed north along the US-41 freeway (from Exit 134) back to its former alignment at Exit 138 at the Fox River Mall area. The former route of US-10 through downtown Appleton along Oneida and Seymour Sts, as well as the portion along Badger Ave were municipally-controlled "connecting highways," so no effective transfer of control took place. The former portions of US-10 through Appleton along STH-47/Memorial Dr and STH-96/Wisconsin Ave retained their state route designations, as well as "connecting highway" status.
      Then in November 1997, a 3.5-mile westerly extension of the STH-441 freeway was opened to traffic, but was designated as part of a relocated US-10. The routing of US-10 was removed from US-41 (Exits 134 to 138) and Wisconsin Ave past the Fox River Mall and the Outagamie Co Airport, and transferred onto the new freeway from US-41 west to US-45 (now STH-76), then northerly via US-45 (now STH-76) for over 3.5 miles back to US-10's original alignment. The routing of STH-96 was extended westerly via the former routing of US-10 past the Fox River Mall and the airport to end at the jct of US-10 & US-45 (now STH-76).

 

 

The Appleton Post-Crescent quotes state transportation officials who say they expect to have a second US-10/STH-441 span crossing Little Lake Butte des Morts by 2010. The paper states the second span would be constructed immediately south of, and adjacent to the current one, which has been designated the Rolland Kampo Bridge. The Post-Crescent wrote: "Jack Robb, manager of DOT District 3 project development, said ...the agency has begun preliminary planning for the second bridge in anticipation of a new flood of traffic when the new U.S. 10—west of U.S. 45—opens in 2003. 'It's not listed on our five-year plan, so we're looking at some time after 2006—probably 2008 to 2010,' Robb said after addressing the Winnebago County Highway Committee. 'It's going to be very expensive and we're going to have to come up with the money first.'"

 

 

Just west of the Little Lake Butte des Morts crossing is a project which brought an extra set of freeway-to-freeway ramps during 2000. One of the new ramps will consist of a "flyover" ramp from northbound US-41 to westbound US-10, with the other being a more normal ground-level ramp connecting eastbound US-10 with southbound US-41. Previously, this access did not exist at the interchange, with such traffic being routed along local streets in the interim.

 

 

Heading west from the Appleton area, the new US-10 freeway was extended west from its temporary ending at STH-76 (formerly US-45) to just west of Fremont in southeastern Waupaca Co and opened to traffic on December 5, 2003. Construction began in the Fremont area in October, 1999 with full-blown construction taking place 2001-2003. The former route of US-10 (not running concurrently with US-45, which was redesignated as STH-76) became a westerly extension of STH-96 to Fremont. Through Fremont, the former US-10 retains the pre-existing STH-110 designation. Farther west, US-10 has been recently upgraded to expressway from the eastern end of the Waupaca bypass to just east of the eastern STH-49 junction.
      From Waupaca westerly, expressway upgrades were completed in 2002 to the Waupaca/Portage Co line. Additional upgrades to the west into Portage Co, including a bypass of Amherst and Amherst Junction were opened to traffic on September 20, 2004.
      Michael Koerner reports the last remaining two-lane stretch of US-10 between Appleton and Stevens Point—from Amherst Junction to CTH-H—will be in right-of-way acquisition through 2005 and construction is shedculed to run 2006-07. All of US-10 between Appleton and Stevens Point will then be built to freeway or expressway standards and feature a 65 mph speed limit. —Thanks Michael Koerner for the info!

 

 

Michael Koerner, through his visits to various WisDOT Project Information Meetings (PIMs) in the Stevens Point area, has reported that construction on the new US-10 relocation bypassing Stevens Point from US-51/I-39 westerly toward Marshfield is expceted to begin in mid- to late-2006, consisting mainly of adjustments in the US-51/I-39 & CTH-X interchange area. The new bridge spanning the Wisconsin River is expected to be underway in early- to mid-2007 with an expected completion timeframe in 2009. Additional upgrades in the US-10 corridor from west of Stevens Point to STH-13 at Marshfield are also being planned. —Additional thanks to Michael!

 

History:

What is US-10 today sported two different state trunkline designations when Wisconsin's trunkline system was laid out in 1918. US-10 was then STH-34 from Ellsworth to Mondovi and was not a part of the original 5,000-mile trunkline system from Mondovi to Humbird. From there easterly through Marshfield, Stevens Point and Appleton to Manitowoc was designated as STH-18. Those trunklines were replaced by the US-10 designation in 1926.

 

 

In an interesting twist of history, prior to the coming of the US Highway system, STH-18, which ran from Manitowoc to Humbird (the direct route into Fairchild from the east came later) along the later route of US-10 was extended westerly to end at the Minnesota state line at Prescott, replacing the STH-34 designation in the process. Then, in 1926, US-10 replaced STH-18 from Manitowoc to Humbird, but then ran concurrently to Minnesota with US-12 via Eau Claire, Menomonie and Hudson. Since a brand-new US-18 was also designated at this time, the remainder of STH-18 from US-10/US-12 westerly to Prescott needed a replacement route number and was (temporarily) "given back" the STH-34 designation in 1926! Several years later in 1934, though, STH-34-turned-STH-18-turned-STH-34-again was finally re-designated as US-10. However, this placed US-10 south of US-12 which technically "violates" the overall US Highway numbering scheme where even-numbered routes increase as you move south from Canada.

 

Freeway:

The following three segments of US-10 exist as freeway:

  1. Southern bypass of Waupaca from Anderson Rd west of town to Apple Tree Ln east of town. (~3 miles)
  2. Jct STH-49 & STH-110 (south jct) west of Fremont to jct US-10 & STH-441 south of downtown Appleton. (~27 miles)
  3. Concurrently with I-43 northwest of Manitowoc between Exits 152 and 154. (3.0 miles)

 

Expressway:

The following two segments of US-10 exist as expressway:

  1. From the west end of the "Amherst/Amherst Junction bypass" easterly to the beginning of freeway segment No.1 above west of Waupaca. (~13 miles)
  2. From the end of freeway segment No.1 above east of Waupaca to the beginning of freeway segment No.2 above near Fremont. (~12 miles)

 

NHS:

From STH-13 south of Marshfield to US-10's eastern entrance at the carferry dock in Manitowoc.

 

Business Connection:

BUS US-10 - Neillsville: A locally-designated BUS US-10 routing has been reported at Neillsville. This 2.8-mile long route begins at jct US-10 & CTH-B west of the city and continues easterly via CTH-B (W 5th St) into downtown, then turns southerly with STH-73 via Hewett St back to US-10 on the south side of Neillsville. —Thanks to Peter Johnson for the heads-up!

 

Continue on:

US-10 west into Minnesota - via Steve Riner's Unofficial Minnesota Highways website.
US-10 east into Michigan

 

Photographs:

 

 

Weblinks:

US 10/WIS 441 expansion study - WisDOT is in the final stages of a study that evaluates the impacts of expanding US 10/WIS 441 from four to six lanes, including the construction of an additional bridge across Little Lake Butte Des Morts.

 

 

US-10: Highway System Changes Under Consideration - modification of an original map from WisDOT.

 

 

Future Highway Name Changes: Effective October 31, 2003 - a handy map produced by WisDOT illustrating all of the various Fox Valley state trunkline route number changes resulting from the US-10 and US-45 relocation projects.

 

 

Point Douglas Draw Bridge - from John Weeks' The Bridges Of Minneapolis And St. Paul website.


STH-11

Western Terminus:

US-61/US-151 four miles south of Kieler, east of Dubuque IA

Eastern Terminus:

STH-32 in southern Racine (cnr Durand Ave & Sheridan Rd)

Length:

157.56 miles

 

Map:

Route Map of STH-11

 

Notes:

A new STH-11 southern bypass of Janesville was completed and opened to traffic on November 11, 2002. Right-of-way acquisition began in 1999 with actual construction on the 6-mile, $21 million project beginning in 2001. The following was taken from a WisDOT press release:

The DOT selected the bypass route favored by local officials as the preferred alternative to address deficiencies on existing Highway 11 and provide the best long-term east-west transportation link to Interstate 90 for the Rock County region and the Janesville community.

Labeled Bypass Alternative 3 in the DOT's FEIS, the route uses existing Highway 11 from Rockport Road to Hayner Road. It then heads south along Hayner Road and at Rockport Road the alignment shifts to property lines east of Hayner Road. This alternative heads east on new alignment, crossing County Highway D (Afton Road) and then the Rock River just north of Janesville's wastewater treatment plant. It joins Avalon Road near Highway 51 and continues along Highway 351 to I-90.

The plan calls for two lanes to be built between existing WIS 11 and Highway D. Between Highway D and US 51, a four-lane roadway will be constructed to accommodate future traffic volumes.

The Janesville Gazette reported that the STH-11 bypass of Janesville had been planned for five decades. Also noted was that the portion of the former STH-11 west of the Janesville city limit, which was turned back to county control, could not be designated as a county trunk highway because Rock County Highway Commissioner Tom Boguszewski noted, "while one end starts at a state highway—Highway 11—the other terminus is at neither a state or county highway." All of the former route of STH-11 within the City of Janesville from the west city limit to I-90/I-39 was turned back to the city.

 

 

WisDOT is currently planning a three-quarters bypass of the city of Burlington in Racine and Walworth Counties, which will carry, in part, STH-11, STH-36 and STH-83 and provide a convenient bypass for through traffic on those routes. The project, which is said to cost $100 million, is currently scheduled for construction in stages from 2006-2011 [see WisDOT Project Website schedule]. The bypass will begin at STH-11 west of Burlington in eastern Walworth Co, swing south to cross STH-36, then veer easterly to bypass Burlington on the south, intersecting STH-83 then curving northerly, crossing STH-142 and meeting back up with STH-11 near Browns Lake, then continues northerly to end at STH-36/STH-83 halfway between Burlington and Rochester. A group of local citizens, though, opposes the bypass for various reasons. According to an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "the coalition calls the proposed route, which is almost entirely on town land, inefficient, dangerous and a waste of money. [The Towns of Rochester, Lyons, Spring Prairie and Burlington] have passed resolutions opposing the bypass and records indicate the Burlington Town Board has been objecting to the chosen route since 1995." However, the project, which has been on the drawing boards since December 1966, seems destined for completion... 45 years later! [See WisDOT's Burlington Bypass Project website for more info.]

 

History:

STH-11, today, runs the width of the state along the southern tier of counties, beginning just three miles from the Iowa state line and ending just 1/2-mile shy of the Lake Michigan shore. Originally, though, all of today's STH-11 began in 1918 designated STH-20 from the Iowa state line to Burlington. The portion of today's STH-11 from Burlington into Racine was not on the state trunkline system at that time. In 1918, STH-11 ran via STH-60 from Prairie du Sac to Gotham, then along today's US-14 into La Crosse, and from there northerly along present-day US-53 to Superior.

 

Freeway:

Two segments of STH-11 exist as freeway:

  1. Bypass of Monroe in Green Co. (~4 miles)
  2. Concurrent segment with I-90/I-39 southeast of Janesville, between Exits 175 and 177. (~2 miles)

 

Expressway:

None.

 

NHS:

Entire route, except 13 mile stretch from US-14 west of Delavan to I-43 east of Elkhorn, which is not included.

 

Photographs:

 

 

Weblinks:

Burlington Bypass Project website - from WisDOT.

 

 

WIS 11 Janesville Bypass project report - from WisDOT, 2002.

 

 

US 14/WIS 11 corridor study - WisDOT "is currently conducting a corridor study that will help determine how to improve access, traffic safety and mobility on US 14/WIS 11 between Janesville and Interstate 43 near Darien."


US-12

Western Entrance:

Minnesota state line concurrently with I-94 at Hudson

Eastern Entrance :

Illinois state line at Genoa City

Length:

339.40 miles

 

Map:

Route Map of US-12
Map of Greater Eau Claire & Chippewa Falls Area
Map of the US-12 Whitewater Bypass

 

Notes:

Various parts of the US-12 corridor are under consideration for improvements, either in the near or distant future. Originally, the US-12 route from the Illinois state line into Madison was to be converted to a fully-controlled access freeway, with a connection to the Illinois Tollway System at the state line. Wisconsin made the first move by constructing 17.5 miles of freeway from Genoa City on the state line to STH-67 at Elkhorn. Before additional freeway could be built toward Madison, it became clear the upgrades on the Illinois side may be a long time in coming, if at all. For many years, it seemed as if public opinion in many of the Illinois communities along US-12 had killed the freeway there, but in recent years the corridor has become overloaded with traffic and, once again, freeway and tollway proposals are seeing the light of day.

      Meanwhile in Wisconsin, the first major upgrade to the US-12 corridor east of Madison was completed in October of 1998. The route of US-12/US-18 from I-90/I-39 near Madison to Cambridge was upgraded to a four-lane divided expressway on the west end, including an interchange at CTH-N. The eastern part of the project involved retaining the two-lane undivided configuration, but eliminated many of the sharp, blind curves.

 

 

During 2004, upgrades to US-12 between Cambridge and Fort Atkinson were completed, similar to those west of Cambridge from 1998. The route, which remains a two-lane highway and still traverses downtown Cambridge, is now much straighter and flatter, improving the safety of the highway. While a logical next step would be to construct a bypass of Fort Atkinson, WisDOT sources say 2010-2012 would be the approximate timeframe for such a highway. Based on past history, it can be assumed any US-12 bypass here would be initally built as a two-lane expressway facility on four-lane right-of-way to accommodate future upgrades to full expressway or freeway standards. Studies for the Fort Atkinson bypass, though, are underway and a final EIS is scheduled for completion in late 2005. [See WisDOT's "US-12 Corridor Study at Fort Atkinson" website for complete information, shedules and maps.]

 

 

However at Whitewater, WisDOT constructed a 6.3-mile long bypass of that city which opened to traffic on August 4, 2005 after a 10:00 am ribbon-cutting ceremony at the CTH-S/Walworth Ave intersection. Construction on the $36.7 million (erroneously stated as $115.5 million in some WisDOT documents) bypass began in 2002, a year later than originally hoped. With the opening of the bypass, the route of STH-89 was transferred to the new highway, running concurrently with US-12 from the south side of the city northwesterly toward Fort Atkinson, while STH-59 was added to the bypass heading easterly from the south side of Whitewater to the east end of the new highway, then doubling-back on the former route of US-12 into the city to its existing route along Newcomb St. [See Map of the new bypass.]
      This new facility was built as a two-lane, limited-access expressway with limited at-grade intersections, but on four-lane right-of-way. When traffic volumes climb—something many believe will happen in a short timeframe—and budget dollars are found, the Whitewater bypass could then easily be converted to full limited-access freeway standards with interchanges or grade separations built at all intersecting roads. An eventual connection of the Whitewater bypass and the stub-end of the US-12 freeway at Elkhorn is still proposed, but WisDOT has committed to no firm timeframe.

 

 

Another, more controversial project in the US-12 corridor was the ongoing project to extend the current freeway from the end of the "Madison Beltline" bypassing Middleton to the west and on northwesterly as a rural divided highway to Sauk City. Included in the project at its northwestern end is a rehabilitation and widening of the Wisconsin River bridge at Sauk City. Construction on the 18-mile corridor began in April 2002 and the last work on the segment from STH-19 to US-14 concluded in November 2005.
      While proposals to upgrade the US-12 corridor between Middleton and Sauk City had been advanced for decades, a 17-member "US-12 Study Committee" of local citizens was appointed in 1990 specifically to provide reccommendations to WisDOT and the state legislature as to which improvements were desired for the highway. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was signed on April 19, 1995 and after public hearings, a Supplemental Draft EIS prepared in 1996. The US-12 Final Environmental Impact Statement is approved by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on November 5, 1998, which also signed a Record of Decision the following spring on on March 29, 1999. Design and right-of-way acquisition began in 1999 and preparations lasted into 2002.
      Even with the several years of public hearings and the formation of the "US-12 Study Committee" by the state legislature, various citizen groups fought WisDOT over the US-12 corridor improvements stating the upgrades would encourage sprawl, take valuable farmland and threaten the Baraboo Hills, a National Natural Landmark. However, the corridor had become increasingly unsafe over the years. While various roadway deficiencies, flooding problems and capacity dificiencies were contribtions, crash statistics clearly pointed to the need for a new alignment. WisDOT statistics note that from 1985 through 1996, 2,200 crashes occurred—nearly one every two days—with 688 of those resulting in non-fatal injuries and 31 fatalities. WisDOT made several rounds of safety-related improvements over the years only to note the crash and fatality levels not decreasing. Some opposing the project also point to the parallel I-90/I-94/I-39 freeway as a reason for not upgrading US-12, but that particular highway has been expanded once already and is becoming overloaded with traffic.

      The first segment of the four-lane improvements from STH-19 WEST to CTH-KP was complete in October 2003 but traffic was not shifted to the new lanes until the four lane upgrade was completed from CTH-KP west to the Wisconsin River bridge at Sauk City (along with the bridgework itself) in November 2004. From STH-19 WEST to CTH-K, the four-lane improvements were completed in November 2005. The four-lane freeway bypass of Middleton was completed and opened to traffic in stages July 4, 2005 with the final ramp connections from wbd US-12 to Parmenter St (former US-12) on the south side of Middleton completed in early September and the northside interchange at Parmenter St finished in November. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held November 3, 2005 at the northern Parmenter St interchange and the last of the construction barrels between Middleton and Sauk City were pulled by the following Monday, November 7th.
      See the WisDOT US-12 Project website for more information.

 

 

In order to gain approval to proceed with the US-12 corridor improvements noted above, local, state and federal officials worked to craft a compromise deal in 1999. Essentially, the deal allowed WisDOT to make the improvements it deemed necessary to the highway while providing environmental advocates with millions state and federal dollars to assist with land preservation efforts. As reported in the March 5, 1999 edition of The Capital Times, details of the deal include:

  • WisDOT may commence aquiring real estate in 2000 and 2001, and begin construction in March 2002.
  • WisDOT will also provide $5 million of DOT money to purchase land and/or easements to preserve and protect the 51,000-acre Baraboo Hills north of Sauk City.
  • WisDOT will provide up to $5 million of DOT money to assist Dane County in purchasing land, easements and development rights in the highway corridor.
  • WisDOT will provide $5 million from the state Stewardship Fund for increased protection of the Baraboo Hills, to be matched by nontransportation federal, local and private funds.
  • Communities in Sauk and Dane Counties will receive $500,000 to help plan for growth related to the highway.
  • Another $500,000 in DOT money would be set aside to study alternative transportation, focusing on commuter rail, light rail and enhanced bus service as ways to alleviate traffic congestion.
  • WisDOT also agreed in the deal not to propose a Sauk City bypass before 2020, and no West Baraboo bypass before 2015.

 

 

While WisDOT is effectively prohibited from talking or even thinking about considering any bypasses for US-12 in the Sauk City and Baraboo areas, the department has begun planning on a less-controversial relocation project in the US-12 corridor between Baraboo and Lake Delton in the Wisconsin Dells region. The current plans call for a new four-lane divided expressway, likely on new alignment to the west of the existing highway, with construction commencing in the 2008-2010 timeframe.

 

 

While once a major transportation thoroughfare in West-Central Wisconsin prior to the coming of the Interstates, US-12 between Wisconsin Dells and Black River Fall and from Eau Claire to Hudson is now paralleled by I-90/I-94 and I-94 within a few miles, relegating the highway in those areas as a local traffic route. From Black River Falls to Eau Claire, where US-12 runs up to 15 miles away from the nearest Interstate, the highway still functions as a regional corridor, but still most through traffic has moved to the Interstate.

 

 

As a part of the conversion of STH-29 between I-94 at Elk Mound and Chippewa Falls to a limited-access expressway/freeway combination, both US-12 and STH-40 were relocated at their interchange with I-94 at Elk Mound (Exit 52). Construction on the relocation began in 2000 and was completed in the fall of 2001.

 

History:

In an ironic twist—or one of the great coincidences of modern times—the entire US-12 corridor in Wisconsin was desginated as STH-12 from 1918 until the debut of the U.S. Highway System in 1926. Since the Wisconsin state trunkline system was set up and signposted in the field seven years before discussions about the U.S. Highway System commenced, it is very interesting that the Wisconsin Highway Commission designated what would eventually become US-12 as STH-12! In fact, other than locations where US-12 has been relocated onto parallel freeway or expressway alignments over the years and other minor adjustments, the only major relocations have been:

  • New Lisbon to Tomah - STH-12 ran westerly from New Lisbon through Hustler and Clifton via CTH-A to STH-131, then northerly via STH-131 into Tomah.
  • Millston to Black River Falls - STH-12 ran westerly via CTH-O from Millston to Shamrock and northerly via STH-27 to Black River Falls.
  • Eau Claire to Menomonie - STH-12 used the more southerly alignment between the two cities via CTH-E.

 

Freeway:

The following four segments of US-12 exist as freeway:

  1. Concurrently with I-94 from the Minnesota state line to Exit 4 east of Hudson. (4 miles)
  2. Concurrently with STH-29 for a short distance from I-94 to jct US-12 & STH-40 near Elk Mound. (~1 mile)
  3. From 1/2 mile south of CTH-K north of Middleton to jct I-90/I-39 southeast of Madison. (~19 miles)
  4. Jct STH-67 two miles north of Elkhorn to just shy of Illinois state line at Genoa City. (17.5 miles)

 

Expressway:

The following two segments of US-12 exist as expressway:

  1. Concurrently with STH-312 on the west side of Eau Claire. (~3 miles)
  2. From I-90/I-39 east of Madison to North Star Rd, 1/2 mile east of CTH-N south of Cottage Grove. (4 miles)
  3. Along the Whitewater Bypass, a two-lane limited-access facility, from the former route of US-12/STH-89 north of Tri-County Rd west of Whitewater to jct STH-59 NORTH/CTH-P southeast of the city. (6.3 miles)

 

NHS:

The following three segments of US-12 in Wisconsin are on the National Highway System (NHS):

  1. Concurrently with I-94 from the Minnesota state line to Exit 4 east of Hudson.
  2. In the Eau Claire area from the western jct with STH-312 to jct US-53.
  3. From I-94 at Exit 92 in Lake Delton to the Illinois state line at Genoa City.

 

Business Connections:

A trio of US-12 Business Connections and a fourth potential one:

  1. BUS US-12 - Baraboo. Through downtown Baraboo, a mixture of state trunkline and locally-maintained road. From the jct of US-12, STH-33 & STH-136 in West Baraboo, US-12 heads easterly via STH-33 on Linn & 8th Sts into downtown Baraboo. There, it turns southrtly via STH-123 along Broadway. In the south side of Baraboo, BUS US-12 heads westerly via locally-maintained South Blvd back to US-12. Baraboo's BUS US-12 is a locally-designated route and is not one of WisDOT's few "official" business connections.
  2. BUS US-12 - Sauk City/Prairie du Sac. Beginning at jct US-12 & STH-60/STH-78 in central Sauk City, the locally-designated route runs northerly via STH-60/STH-78/Water St into downtown Prairie du Sac and continues northerly via STH-78/Water St after STH-60 crosses the Wisconsin River. North of Prairie du Sac, BUS US-12 turns westerly via CTH-Z back to US-12 at the southern end of the current four-lane segment. —Thanks to Dave Holl for the heads-up!
  3. BUS US-12 - Middleton [Proposed]. Plans for the new US-12 freeway bypass of Middleton, completed in November 2005, indicated the former route of US-12 through Middleton would be designated as BUS US-12 once the bypass was completed. However, no such route signage was in place as of November 2005—permanent freeway signage did not even leave empty spaces for BUS US-12 markers!—and no connection from the proposed business route back to US-12 on the south side of Middleton exists, thus calling into question whether this route will, indeed, be designated.
  4. BUS US-12 - Whitewater. Following the former route of US-12 through downtown Whitewater, this locally-designated route begins at the new US-12 bypass & Tri-County Rd west of the city and proceeds easterly to the bypass east of the city at jct CTH-P.

 

Continue on:

US-12 west into Minnesota - via Steve Riner's Unofficial Minnesota Highways website.
US-12 east ("south") into Illinois - via Rich Carlson's Illinois Highways Page.
US 12 - Charles Sarjeant's Illinois Highways Ends website.
US-12 in Michigan

 

Photographs:

 

 

Weblinks:

US-12 Corridor Study at Fort Atkinson - WisDOT's project website including complete information, shedules and maps.

 

 

US-12 Project - WisDOT's project website for the Middleton-Sauk City corridor improvements including complete information, shedules and maps.

 

 

Highway 12 - the Madison Bicycling Community Page's web page detailing that group's opposition to the Middleton-Sauk City corridor improvement project.

 

 

Verona Road/West Beltline Study - WisDOT's project website for the proposed improvements to the US-18/US-151 & US-12/US-14 interchange along the Madison Beltline, including complete information, schedules and maps.

 

 

Verona Road Interchange Proposals - scanned images of the proposed improvements to the US-18/US-151 & US-12/US-14 interchange along the Madison Beltline from David Jensen's "I Love Roads" website.

 

 

Exit numbers on US 12 - from WisDOT.

 

 

Three years, $115.5 million later, Whitewater bypass to open - a July 31, 2005 article from the Janesville Gazette.

 

 

U.S. 12: Michigan to Washington - by the FHWA's Richard F. Weingroff, part of their Infrastructure series.

 

 

I-94 Interstate Bridge - from John Weeks' The Bridges Of Minneapolis And St. Paul website.


STH-13

Southern Terminus:

I-90/I-94 at Exit 87 in Wisconsin Dells

Northern Terminus:

US-2/US-53 freeway at Parkland, 7 miles southeast of Superior

Length:

338.32 miles

 

Map:

Route Map of STH-13

 

Notes:

One of the more major changes to come to the route of STH-13 in recent history was the completion of the Veterans Parkway project through the heart of Marshfield, the so-called "through-pass," so named because it actually cuts through the center of the city instead of bypassing it. In 1968, WisDOT approved a western STH-13 bypass for the city beginning at the southern jct of US-10 & STH-13 south of Marshfield and proceeding northwesterly to near the intersection of CTH-B & Airport Rd, then continuing due northerly, reconnecting with STH-13 northwest of the city across the county line in Marathon Co. The City of Marshfield fought this bypass route, as it was concentrating much of its industrial development on the eastern part of the city. Additional bypass plans were proposed over the years and while the 1968 western bypass route for STH-13 still techically exists on the WisDOT books today, new ideas came to light in the 1990s.

      During the 1990s, the concept of a four-lane divided "through-pass" boulevard for STH-13 was introduced. The route selected paralleled a heavily-used Wisconsin Central (now-Canadian National) railroad line through much of the city before angling to follow another short spur line to the southeastern corner of the city. Beginning at Arnold St & Wood Ave, the new Veterans Parkway follows the north side of the CN tracks for a short distance before ducking under them via a new underpass which also serves north-south local traffic on the Oak Ave-Saint Joseph Ave corridor and continues through the center of the city closely paralleling the south side of the railroad tracks. Major signalized intersections at Chestnut Ave, STH-97/BUS STH-13/Central Ave and Maple Ave connect the new parkway with local streets. The parkway continues easterly following the CN line to the south to the new Peach Ave overpass, which provides an excellent north-south connection for local traffic, completely separated from the new STH-13 and CN rail traffic. From Peach Ave, Veterans Parkway turns southeasterly paralleling a local rail spur to the southeast corner of the city where it merges into what had formerly been CTH-A leading southerly to a jct at US-10 southeast of Marshfield. STH-13 traffic then turns westerly concurrently with US-10 for two miles back to its former route south of town.

      When proposed and placed on the state's highway priority list in 1992, there was some opposition to the project. The Central Wisconsin Sunday newspaper noted, "Opponents thought it would split the community in two. But others saw it as a golden opportunity to put Marshfield in the middle of a vast, four-lane network across the state from east to west." With major improvements to the US-10 corridor from Appleton to Stevens Point nearing completion and similar upgrades from Stevens Point to Marshfield set to commence in 2006, the US-10-west-to-STH-13-north corridor is expected to become a much more heavilly-travelled routing in the future.

      The entire Veterans Parkway officially opened to traffic on Thursday, October 9, 2003. On that same day, the former route of STH-13 via Arnold St from Veterans Parkway to STH-97/Central Ave was removed as a state trunkline "connecting highway" route, while the portion of the former STH-13 along Central Ave from Veterans Parkway southerly to jct US-10/STH-13 south of the city limits was officially redesignated by WisDOT as BUS STH-13 (and not as an extension of STH-97 as had been surmised by some). While the BUS STH-13 designation is currently and official WisDOT designation—a relative rarity for the department—current plans are for BUS STH-13/Central Ave to undergo a $7.1-million reconstruction during the spring, summer and fall of 2009, according to the Marshfield News-Herald, which has been pushed back from the 2007 timeframe originally proposed by WisDOT. Once the reconstruction is complete, Central Ave will be officially turned over to the City of Marshfield as a local street, although the city can continue to sign it as BUS STH-13 in the future, if they desire.

 

 

WisDOT has proposed to relocate the STH-13 designation to the portion of STH-34 from STH-73 in Wisconsin Rapids northerly to US-10 west of Junction City where STH-13 would then turn westerly with US-10 toward Marshfield. This would truncate STH-34 back to US-10 two miles east of Junction City and reports have stated STH-34 between US-10 and US-51/I-39 will remain a state trunkline in the future. From Wisconsin Rapids westerly, STH-13/STH-73 would retain the STH-73 designation, while the current STH-13 from STH-73 northerly to US-10 south of Marshfield would then become an extension of STH-80. This change would likely occur in the 2010 timeframe.

 

History:

With some variation due to realignments over time, the original 1918 routing this highway followed much of today's STH-13, beginning at what was then Kilbourn (present-day Wisconsin Dells), travelling north through Adams, Grand Rapids (now Wisconsin Rapids), Marshfield, Prentice and Ashland, ending in Bayfield. It was later that STH-13 was routed around the Bayfield Peninsula and westerly to Superior.

 

 

The route of STH-13, which now traverses a greater portion of the state, once ran the length of the state (and then some) from Beloit on the Illinois state line to the Minnesota state line. By the early-1920s, STH-13 had been extended southerly from Kilbourn/Wisconsin Dells concurrently with STH-12 (soon to be US-12) into Madison, where it then continued southerly via Oregon and Evansville to terminate in Beloit at the Illinois line. Additionally, STH-13 was extended westerly from Bayfield first to Port Wing, then into Superior concurrently with STH-10, STH-11 and STH-27 (must have made for some daunting route marker assemblies!) to a connection with MN TH-1/TH-2 in Duluth. (STH-113 had been commissioned as an "alternate" to STH-13 between Baraboo and Madison—it was never a part of STH-113.)

      In the late-1920s, STH-13 was realigned from the Evansville-Janesville-Beloit routing to an Evansville-Orfordville-Beloit routing which had previously been occupied by STH-92. In the mid-1930s, 31 miles of STH-13 between Evansville and Middleton were concurrently designated with US-14, which had just been commissioned through Wisconsin. It wasn't until 1961 that STH-13 was truncated back to its present terminus in Wisconsin Dells and it could be easily inferred the reason for truncation was the completion of the I-90/I-94 freeway in the area. The STH-13 route markers were removed from the 77 mile concurrency with US-12 and US-14, while the last 26 miles of the former STH-13 from Evansville to STH-81 at Beloit were redesignated STH-213.

 

Freeway:

None.

 

Expressway:

Prentice bypass - it has been reported the 3-mile long western bypass of Prentice in Price Co may be a two-lane undivided expressway, between the southern and northern jcts with CTH-A.

 

NHS:

Three segments of STH-13 are on the NHS, two on the NHS proper and the other an Intermodal Connector:

  1. In Wisconsin Rapids, from jct STH-54 (cnr Riverview Expwy & 8th St) to jct STH-34 (cnr Riverview Expwy & W Grand Ave).
  2. From the east jct with US-10 (at CTH-A) southeast of Marshfield northerly to the west jct of US-2 & STH-13 west of Ashland.
  3. Intermodal Connector: From the west jct of US-2 & STH-13 west of Ashland notherly to the Madeline Island ferry dock in Bayfield. [Note: Intermodal Connectors provide access between major intermodal facilities and the other four subsystems making up the National Highway System. A listing of all official NHS Intermodal Connectors.]

 

Circle Tour :

Lake Superior Circle Tour: From western terminus at US-2/US-53 south of Superior to eastern jct with US-2 in downtown Ashland.

 

Business Connections:

Two STH-13 Business Connections exist:

  1. BUS STH-13 - Wisconsin Rapids. A locally-designated and maintained BUS STH-13 routing exists through downtown Wisconsin Rapids. This routing, which is not a state trunkline highway, runs via 8th St northerly from STH-13 to Grand Ave, then westerly via Grand Ave back to STH-13. This was the former route of STH-13 through downtown before the 'Riverview Expwy' routing was completed in the early 1980s (c.1983-84).
  2. BUS STH-13 - Marshfield. A new WisDOT-designated trunkline newly applied in 2003 at the completion of the StH-13/Veterans Pkwy through the city.

 

Photographs:

 

 

Weblinks:

South Central Avenue Re-Design - a January 17, 2005 article from the Mayor of Marshfield on the City's website about the ongoing process of re-making BUS STH-13 (S Central Ave) into a local city atertial as WisDOT begins the process of turning it back to local control.


US-14

Western Entrance:

Minnesota state line in downtown La Crosse

Eastern Entrance:

Illinois state line, 3 miles south of Walworth

Length:

198.49 miles

 

Map:

Route Map of US-14

 

Notes:

At its western entrance to the state, US-14 along with US-61 and STH-16, cross the Mississippi River and immediately enter downtown La Crosse from LaCrescent, Minnesota. A two-lane bridge carrying the highway over the river and depositing traffic onto Cass St in La Crosse was dedicated and opened to traffic in September 1939. Additional capacity was needed as well as safety improvements to reduce the number of collisions in the area, so a second bridge across the Mississippi was proposed along with widening the entire route between downtown La Crosse and LaCrescent to four lanes. Construction on the $40 million project began on January 27, 2003 and on December 17th of that year the new 2,573-foot bridge's central arch was floated into place. The new bridge was opened to traffic on November 17, 2004. [WisDOT Press Release]
      As a result of the project, the existing two-lane "Cass Street Bridge" opened in 1939 remains, but has been reconfigured for westbound US-14/US-61/STH-16 traffic, while the new 2004 "Cameron Avenue Bridge" now carries eastbound traffic, a bicycle lane and a sidewalk. Other improvements include:

  • Two additional lanes were added to the highway between the main channel of the Mississippi and the West Channel bridge.
  • A one block are in downtown La Crosse was reconstructed.
  • Cameron Ave is now a one-way street between 3rd & 4th Sts.
  • Cass St is now one-way heading westerly between 3rd & 4th Sts and a left-turn lane has been added at the cnr of Cass & 3rd Sts
  • New traffic signals were placed at all intersections in downtown La Crosse within the project limits.

 

 

A new, 13-mile long bypass of the communities of Viroqua and Westby in Vernon Co is scheduled to be under construction in 2009 and be completed within three years. The bypass, which will cost approximately $40 million, will include bypasses on new alignment for both Viroqua and Westby and use the existing US-14/US-61 alignment—which will also be upgraded as a part of the project—between those communities for a short distance. The two bypass segments will be built as two-lane highway while the existing portion between the bypasses will be widened to four lanes. Approval to start buying right-of-way for the project was granted to WisDOT in October 2003 when it was enumerated in the state's 2004 budget. The bypass is needed due to increasing traffic volumes along US-14/US-61 through the area and will also help remove through semi-trucks from the centers of the two communities.

 

 

In its "Official State Trunk Highway System Maps," WisDOT indicates a 4-mile long "mapped corridor" which may someday replace existing US-14 from STH-138 near Oregon southerly to Rutland Rd near Brooklyn. The corridor is planned to be on completely new alignment to the west of the existing US-14 and would essentially be an extension of the US-14 freeway heading southerly from Madison, although it is unclear whether this 4-mile extension would be built to freeway, expressway or uncontrolled-access standards. At present, this relocation is not funded and construction is not scheduled.

 

History:

US-14 was a relative late-comer to Wisconsin when compared with most of the state's other U.S. Highways. It wasn't until 1933 that US-14 made its way into the state, eight years after the U.S. Highway System was first laid out. From west to east, US-14 ran along what was then STH-11 from La Crosse all the way to Madison, then southerly from Madison via STH-13 to Evansville, then southeasterly replacing STH-92 into Janesville. From there, US-14 continued easterly via STH-20, then southeasterly again via STH-89 to enter Illinois south of Walworth, as it does today.

 

 

When US-14 debuted in Wisconsin in 1933, there was an existing STH-14 routing in the southern part of the state running along a rather odd course. It began at Cassville on the Mississippi River, then headed generally easterly through Lancester, Platteville, Darlington, Monroe to Beloit, then northeasterly via Delavan, Elkhorn, and Mukwonago to end in downtown Milwaukee. To ensure no two highways had the same number—regardless of U.S. or State Trunkline—the western portion of STH-14 from Cassville to Beloit was re-designated as STH-81 (its present designation), and the eastern portion from Beloit to Milwaukee was changed to STH-15, a designation it would retain until replaced by I-43 a half-century later.

 

Freeway:

The following two segments of US-14 exist as freeway:

  1. On the "Madison Beltline" concurrently with US-12 (additionally with US-18/US-151 east of Verona Rd) around the west and south sides of Madison. (10 miles)
  2. From jct US-12/US-14/US-18/US-151 in Madison southerly to Oregon at STH-138. (8 miles)

 

Expressway:

None.

 

NHS:

The following two segments of US-14 in Wisconsin are on the National Highway System (NHS):

  1. From Minnesota at La Crosse to the east jct of US-12, US-14, US-18 & US-151 on the Madison Beltline (Exit 261) in Madison.
  2. From the western jct of US-14 & STH-11 east of Janesville to I-43 at Exit 15 near Darien.

 

Business Connections:

BUS US-14 (CITY US-14) - Janesville. A locally-designated and maintained BUS (or CITY) US-14 routing exists through downtown Janesville, however it is unclear how long this route will remain as it is not signed from its parent route, nor do any signs exist outside of the city to direct motorists. Essentially, this is a forgotten-about route which will likely pass into history soon.

 

Continue on:

US-14 west into Minnesota - via Steve Riner's Unofficial Minnesota Highways website.
US-14 east ("south") into Illinois - via Rich Carlson's Illinois Highways Page.
US 14 - Charles Sarjeant's Illinois Highways Ends website.

 

Photographs:

 

 

Weblinks:

US 14/WIS 11 corridor study - WisDOT "is currently conducting a corridor study that will help determine how to improve access, traffic safety and mobility on US 14/WIS 11 between Janesville and Interstate 43 near Darien."

 

 

Verona Road/West Beltline Study - WisDOT's project website for the proposed improvements to the US-18/US-151 & US-12/US-14 interchange along the Madison Beltline, including complete information, schedules and maps.

 

 

Verona Road Interchange Proposals - scanned images of the proposed improvements to the US-18/US-151 & US-12/US-14 interchange along the Madison Beltline from David Jensen's "I Love Roads" website.

 

 

The Many Faces of Business US-14 in Janesville, Wisconsin - from Mark W. Hintz on his FuzzyWorld3 website.


STH-15

Western Terminus:

Jct US-45 & CTH-T (BUS US-45) south of New London, near the southern end of the "New London Bypass"

Eastern Terminus:

US-41 at Exit 139 northwest of Appleton

Length:

14.8 miles

 

Map:

Route Map of STH-15

 

Notes:

This highway carries the third iteration of the STH-15 designation in Wisconsin, which it received in November 1998. Some may remember the last STH-15 as the Beloit-to-Milwaukee freeway later designated as a southwesterly extension of I-43. The current STH-15 routing debuted when a connector highway on new alignment opened to traffic from US-41 at the CTH-OO interchange westerly to the existing STH-76 at CTH-CB northwest of Appleton. Instead of becoming a realignment of STH-76, the STH-15 designation was applied to the new highway and then carried on northwesterly, replacing STH-76, to Greenville where STH-76 now had a new southern terminus. (The former route of STH-76 bypassed by the new STH-15 was turned back to local control as CTH-GV, as in Greenville Dr.) From Greenville, the STH-15 designation was continued northwesterly concurrently with US-45 through Hortonville to a terminus at the southern end of the "New London Bypass." This was done in preparation of the major route designation changes which took place on October 31, 2003. At that time, US-45 was moved onto a new alignment heading due southerly from New London, leaving STH-15 as the sole route designation on the highway running through Hortonville and Greenville.

 

 

Michael Koerner posted in misc.transport.road in mid-1998 just how STH-15 was given that designation: "The number was picked by Outagamie County highway officials a couple of years [prior to its completion] from a list of available numbers presented to them by WisDOT." —Thanks Michael!

 

 

The first route markers for the current routing of STH-15 were posted during 1998.

 

 

A study of the STH-15 corridor from New London through Hortonville to Greenville is currently underway. Since the highway is a major commuting route and traffic volumes are projected to continue rising, WisDOT is examining possible upgrades in the corridor, including upgrading the existing highway on its present alignment and a potential bypass of Hortonville, either to the north or south. WisDOT will be selecting their preferred alternative, after receiving community input, in the fall of 2005 and expects the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be submitted in 2006. [See WisDOT "WIS 15 Expansion Study" website]

 

History:

The original iteration of STH-15 in Wisconsin, from the original 1918 posting of state trunkline route numbers on highways across the state, essentially ran along the present-day US-41 corridor from Milwaukee via Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton and Green Bay to the Michigan state line (and a connection with M-15) at Marinette/Menominee. Of course, where US-41 has later been upgraded onto new alignment, the original STH-15 would have followed the older alignment of US-41, such as along STH-175 between Milwaukee and Oshkosh, for example. By the early 1920s, though, STH-15 was extended southerly from downtown Milwaukee concurrently with STH-17 (continuing the practice of running two or more concurrent routes to the same terminus or state line that the State Highway Commission employed elsewhere) to end at the Illinois state line.

 

 

In 1926 with the debut of the U.S. Highway system, all of STH-15 north of Milwaukee (indeed, all of STH-15 not routed concurrently with STH-17) is supplanted by the new US-41 designation all the way into Michigan's Upper Peninsula. However, since the portion of STH-17 between Milwaukee and Manitowoc was assumed into the new US-141 routing (leaving STH-17 intact from Manitowoc to Sister Bay), STH-15 continued to occupy the Milwaukee-Racine-Kenosha-Illinois line route until 1931 when it was replaced by STH-42 (now part of STH-32). In 1933, all of STH-14, which ran from Beloit via Delavan, Elkhorn and Mukwonago to downtown Milwaukee, was redesignated as STH-15 to accommodate the brand new US-14 designation in the state. The Beloit-Milwaukee route remained STH-15 from 1933 until November 24, 1987 (signs removed during 1988) when I-43 was extended from Milwaukee to Beloit, completely replacing the second iteration of STH-15. It would be just over a decade before the third iteration of STH-15 would debut (see above).

 

Freeway/Expwy:

None.

 

Photographs:

 

 

Weblinks:

WIS 15 expansion study - from WisDOT: "WIS 15 is a busy commuter route between New London and the Fox Cities area. WisDOT is studying WIS 15 to determine the best way to provide additional roadway capacity and improve operational efficiency and traffic safety."

 

 

Future Highway Name Changes: Effective October 31, 2003 - a handy map produced by WisDOT illustrating all of the various Fox Valley state trunkline route number changes resulting from the US-10 and US-45 relocation projects.

 

 

Route changes could confuse travel plans - from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's "Road Warrior" column by Larry Sandler, with information on the October 31, 2003 route number changes.


STH-16

Western Terminus:

Minnesota state line (connection with Minnesota TH-16) at La Crosse

Eastern Terminus:

I-94 at Exit 293A on the City of Pewaukee & Waukesha municipal boundary

Length:

Updated 193.20 miles

 

Map:

Route Map of STH-16

 

Notes:

The entire route of STH-16 though the state was once part of the route of US-16, which originally stretched from Detroit, Michigan on the east to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming on the west. Between Grand Haven, Michigan (and later, Muskegon, Mich) and Milwaukee, US-16 travelled across Lake Michigan via railroad car & automobile ferries. For more historic details of STH-16 and US-16, see the "History" section below.

 

 

The easternmost portion of STH-16 has been the scene of several highway upgrade projects over the past few decades, including a gradual conversion to fully-controlled access freeway from I-94 at Waukesha to the eastern jct with STH-67 at Oconomowoc. STH-16 also formerly passed through the center of Oconomowoc, making an upgrade to the busy highway impossible. Thus, the 6.7-mile long "Oconomowoc bypass," first proposed in 1960, has extended the corridor improvements to the west. This bypass begins with a northerly extension of the 1992 STH-67 connector on the east side of the city to CTH-K, then bends westerly to an interchange with STH-67. From there, STH-16 continues westerly and southwesterly past Lac La Belle and into Jefferson Co to a connection with the existing highway between Ixonia and the Jefferson/Waukesha Co line. The highway has been built to expressway standards, with some sections approaching freeway standards. From WisDOT: "Some places... have sideroad bridges with no ramps, some have sideroad bridges with ramps access, and some [are] at grade intersections similar to Capitol Drive." Preliminary construction began in 2003 and the bypass fully opened to traffic in late 2006. —Thanks to Jon Enslin for some of the information.

 

 

New! There is some uncertainty with regard to the official route of STH-16 in Oconomowoc. With the completion of the first (eastern) half of the Oconomowoc Bypass in 2005, STH-67 was routed along the bypass and STH-16 route markers were posted along the route, but remained covered until the remainder was complete. When the entire bypass was opened to traffic in 2006, a mixture of "BYPASS STH-16" and regular STH-16 route markers were erected along the route causing additional uncertainty about the status of the previous route of STH-16 through downtown along Wisconsin Ave. Many of the former STH-16 route markers on the former route have been removed, while signs along the bypass and approaches seem to indicate that it is both the official mainline route of STH-16 and designated "BYPASS STH-16" as well. At this time, it is assumed the "BYPASS STH-16" is not an official routing and it is unclear why such signs have been erected. Further research will, hopefully, yield an answer.

 

 

Yet another proposed realignment to STH-16 runs from Astico to Watertown in Dodge Co, paralleling the Canadian Pacific Railway line the entire way, swinging away briefly near Reeseville. This 12.8-mile long realignment would save more than 5 miles from the current "right-angle" alignment north from Watertown, then west to Columbus. Unfortunately, according to information from WisDOT passed on by Jon Enslin, this route will likely never be built. According to WisDOT, "the 'cutting the corner' [routing] ... has been an officially mapped corridor since the pre-Interstate days. After the Interstate was built there was no longer a need to upgrade STH 16 to that degree. However, for whatever reasons, the corridor mapping was never removed. We have no plans to use that corridor now or in the future. All improvements that we may make to STH 16 will be in the currently traveled corridor." —Thanks Jon!

 

 

In the mid-1990s, WisDOT proposed to construct an $80 million highway in the city of La Crosse to connect the downtown area with I-90 at the STH-157 interchange (Exit 4) in Onalaska. However, in a November 1998 city referendum, local residents voted 2-1 against allowing the city to spend any money on the proposed highway. WisDOT took this as an indication residents were unwilling to support such a major project and dropped it from their "to-do" list.

 

History:

Prior to the U.S. Highway era, the "original" routing for STH-16 from 1918 began at STH-11 (later US-53, now STH-124) in Chippewa Falls and proceeded easterly along the present STH-29 corridor through Wausau and Shawano to Green Bay. From there STH-16 continued southerly along what later became US-141 to end at STH-17 (later STH-42) in Manitowoc. (Interestingly, at that time, Manitowoc was home to STH-16, STH-17 and STH-18!) In what could be described as a curious move, the State Highway Commission designated a STH-116 routing in the early 1920s running along the present STH-29 corridor beginning at the western terminus of STH-16 in Chippewa Falls and continuing westerly via Menomonie and River Falls, ending at the Prescott toll bridge leading into Minnesota. Why the SHC felt it necessary to use the "116" designation instead of merely extending "16" is unclear. In any event, the entire STH-116 corridor was simply tacked onto STH-29 when that route was commissioned along much of the former STH-16 in 1926. The original STH-16 had to be re-designated, as the State Highway Commission at the time wanted absolutely no route number duplication in the state, even between U.S. and State Trunkline designations. (Thanks to Jon Enslin for the tip on STH-116!)

 

 

In 1926, along with the other new U.S. Highway designations debuting across the state, US-16 was commissioned to enter the state at La Crosse, run along an east-southeasterly course to Milwaukee where a railroad carferry was available to connect motorists with the section of US-16 in Michigan at Grand Haven (later Muskegon). From La Crosse via Sparta, Tomah, Mauston, Kilbourn (Wisconsin Dells), Portage and Columbus to Watertown, US-16 supplants the entire STH-29 designation. This is ironic in that nearly all of the 1918-1926 iteration of STH-16 (Chippewa Falls-Manitowoc) is simultaneously replaced by STH-29! From Watertown into Milwaukee, US-16 replaces the STH-19 designation along that route. Other than some moderate alignment adjustments over the decades, US-16 occupied the same route until 1978 when, under pressure from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, WisDOT agreed to "decommission" its portion of US-16 so that Mn/DOT and SDDOT could do the same with theirs. But, unlike Minnesota and South Dakota, the entire length of US-16 in Wisconsin was simply redesignated as STH-16, even the long concurrent portion with US-12 from Tomah-Wisconsin Dells.

 

Freeway:

From the eastern jct with STH-67 in Oconomowoc easterly to I-94 at the eastern terminus of STH-16. (13.5 miles)

 

Expressway:

The "Watertown Bypass" from the southern jct with STH-26 on the northern edge of the city southeasterly to jct STH-19 east of the city is a two-lane, limited-access expressway. (4 miles)

 

NHS:

The following three segments of STH-16 in Wisconsin are on the National Highway System (NHS):

  1. From the Minnesota state line to jct STH-157 in La Crosse.
  2. From jct STH-16, STH-27 & STH-71 easterly to jct STH-21 in downtown Sparta.
  3. Along the concurrent segment with STH-26 from Clyman to Watertown.

 

Business Connections:

BUS STH-16 - Watertown. A locally-designated and maintained BUS STH-16 routing exists through downtown Watertown and while it does travel along posted state trunkline routes—the vast majority of which are connecting highways and not directly maintained by WisDOT—this route is still a locally-desginated route and not one instituted by WisDOT.

 

Continue on:

TH-16 west into Minnesota - via Steve Riner's Unofficial Minnesota Highways website.
Historic US-16 east into Michigan

 

Photographs:

 

 

Weblinks:

Oconomowoc bypass project - from WisDOT: "The Oconomowoc bypass project corridor is located between the towns of Ixonia in Jefferson County and Oconomowoc in Waukesha County."

 

 

Exit numbers on WIS 16 - from WisDOT.

 

 

Bay Freeway - in-depth article from the Milwaukee Freeways section of this website.


STH-17

Southern Terminus:

STH-64 east of Merrill, approximately 1/4-mile east of US-51

Northern Terminus:

Michigan state line at a connection with FFH-16, 8 miles east of Phelps

Length:

85.63 miles

 

Map:

Route Map of STH-17

 

Notes:

Without question, the biggest project along the entire length of STH-17 in many years was the completion of the $11.5 million, 3.25-mile long eastern "Rhinelander bypass" during 2004. Beginning at the existing STH-17 just east of Chippewa Dr, the new bypass continues southerly via an improved and widened Chippewa Dr to CTH-CC/Timber Dr, then southerly on new alignment, intersecting CTH-C/Former BUS US-8/Lincoln St just east of the CTH-C intersection. The STH-17 bypass continues south-southwesterly, still on new alignment, to an intersection with the US-8/STH-47 "bypass" then turns westerly via US-8/STH-47 around the south side of Rhinelander, reuniting with the existing STH-17 southwest of downtown. Construction began in 2003 and the new route opened to traffic on Monday, June 21, 2004. The former route of STH-17 through downtown Rhinelander—already a connecting highway—is removed from the state trunkline books and becomes solely a city street.

 

 

The length of STH-17 was decreased by approximately one mile in the late-1980s with a realignment at its southern end at Merrill. From its jct with CTH-G, STH-17 was realigned to run due southerly to end at STH-64 several hundred yards east of the STH-64 & US-51 interchange. STH-17 formerly ran westerly via present-day CTH-G to end at CTH-K (Formerly BUS US-51) on the north side of Merrill.

 

History:

While the STH-17 of today is more of a secondary highway, the original iteration of STH-17 was anything but! Beginning at the Illinois state line south of Kenosha, it roughly followed the Lake Michigan shore through Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, Port Washington, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Kewaunee, Algoma and Sturgeon Bay, ending in Sister Bay in Door Co. By 1921, STH-15, which ran along the future route of US-41 between Milwaukee and Marinette, was extended southerly from downtown Milwaukee concurrently with STH-17 through Racine and Kenosha to the Illinois line. In Milwaukee, the original STH-17 followed an interesting route, heading northerly from downtown via present-day STH-32 to Whitefish Bay, then turning westerly via Silver Spring Dr to STH-57/Green Bay Ave, then running northerly with STH-57 through Cedarburg and Grafton, then northerly via present CTH-O to Saukville, easterly via STH-68 (now STH-33) into Port Washington, then northerly. In the early 1920s, STH-17 was transferred to a route closer to Lake Michigan between Whitefish Bay and Port Washington.

 

 

With the introduction of the U.S. Highway system in 1926, STH-17 was scaled back to a Manitowoc-to-Sister Bay routing, with the portion from Milwaukee to Manitowoc becoming part of US-141 and the Milwaukee-Illinois line stretch retaining the STH-15 designation added a few years earlier. By 1932, STH-17 had been completely replaced by STH-42. When US-63 debuted in Wisconsin in 1934, existing STH-63 from Merrill via Rhinelander to Eagle River needed to be redesignated and was given the available STH-17 designation. For over a decade, STH-17 ended at STH-70 in Eagle River, while STH-70 itself ran northeasterly via Phelps to the Michigan state line. In 1947, STH-70 was extended easterly along its present route from Eagle River and the former route via Phelps to the Michigan line was redesignated as a northeasterly extension of STH-17.

 

Freeway/Expwy:

None.

 

Continue on:

FFH-16 (Federal Forest Highway 16) north into Michigan

 

Photographs:

 

 

Weblinks:

• None.


US-18

Western Entrance:

Iowa state line on the Mississippi River Bridge at Prairie du Chien

Eastern Terminus:

Downtown Milwaukee at the cnr of E Michigan St & N Lincoln Memorial Dr near the Municipal Pier

Length:

182.16 miles

 

Map:

Route Map of US-18

 

Notes:

Regarding US-18's eastern terminus in downtown Milwaukee: Official sources from WisDOT formerly pinpointed the eastern end of US-18 as being at N Harbor Dr & E Michigan st, several hundred feet east of its present terminus. WisDOT has updated its documentation to indicate the terminus is now officially at N Lincoln Memorial Dr instead, jiving with what commercial street maps have shown for many years.

 

 

In the twelve years from 1980 to 1992, the 38 miles of US-18/US-151 from Dodgeville to Madison (except through Verona) were upgraded from two-lane highway to four-lane expressway standards, bypassing the various communities en route. The final segment in this upgrade was finally completed in the fall of 1995 when Verona was bypassed by a limited-access freeway segment. The former route through the center of Verona, a locally-maintained route designated CTH-MV, is also signed as BUS US-18/BUS US-151. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the Verona bypass, a $31 million, six-mile long highway, opened Monday, October 16, 1995 "after the morning rush hour."

 

 

The completion of a comprehensive upgrade to US-12/US-18 from I-90/I-39 at Madison to Cambridge occurred in October 1998. The first four miles of the upgrade consists of a new four-lane expressway with a complete interchange with CTH-N, a through county route connecting Stoughton, I-90, Cottage Grove, I-94 and Sun Prarie. From North Star Rd (east of CTH-N) to Cambridge, the route of US-12/US-18 remains a two-lane highway where most of the sharp, blind curves have been eliminated. —Thanks Jon Enslin for some of the above information!

 

History:

Prior to the commissioning of the U.S. Highway system in 1926, the present-day US-18 corridor was traversed by several different Wisconsin state trunkline designations. From Iowa at Prairie du Chien, US-18 replaced STH-19 through Fennimore, Dodgeville and Verona to Madison, where it left STH-19 to turn easterly concurrently with the new US-12 which, ironically, replaced the STH-12 designation (as well as STH-41), from Madison to a point halfway between Cambridge and Fort Atkinson, where it turned northeasterly replacing STH-41 into Jefferson (this route followed present-day CTH-A from US-12 to Perry Rd and Perry Rd from CTH-A northeasterly to the present alignment of US-18). From Jefferson to Waukesha, US-18 continued to supplant STH-41 along its present-day routing before continuing easterly, still via STH-41 along Greenfield & National Aves (today's STH-59) into downtown Milwaukee.

 

 

Soon after its creation, US-18 was rerouted between downtown Waukesha and downtown Milwaukee generally via its present-day route including Bluemound Rd and Wisconsin Ave. At this point, the route between Goerke's Corners and downtown Milwaukee was signed as US-16/US-18/STH-19/STH-30! Bu 1931, though, US-16 had been relocated to Capitol Dr, leaving just US-18/STH-19/STH-30. Meanwhile in 1932, US-18 was relocated onto its present-day route between US-12 at Cambridge and Jefferson in Jefferson Co.

 

Freeway:

The following two segments of US-18 exist as freeway:

  1. Verona Bypass - from west of CTH-G (west of Verona) to CTH-PD in Fitchburg, just south of Madison. (8.7 miles)
  2. Madison Beltline - from jct US-12/US-14/US-18/US-151 in southwestern Madison to I-90/I-39 southeast of Madison. (10 miles)

 

Expressway:

The following two segments of US-18 exist as expressway:

  1. From STH-23 at Dodgeville to jct US-12/US-14/US-18/US-151 in southwestern Madison, excepting the 8.7-mile Verona bypass (see above). (38 miles)
  2. From I-90/I-39 east of Madison to North Star Rd, 1/2 mile east of CTH-N south of Cottage Grove. (4 miles)

 

NHS:

The following two segments of US-18 in Wisconsin are on the National Highway System (NHS):

  1. From Iowa at Prairie du Chien to the eastern jct of US-12 & US-18 in Cambridge.
  2. From the west jct of US-18 & STH-164 in Waukesha to I-94 at Exit 297 east of Waukesha.

 

Circle Tour :

Lake Michigan Circle Tour: Along the five blocks of Milwaukee St (nbd) and Braoadway St (sbd) of US-18 running concurrently with STH-32 between E Michigan St and E State St through downtown Milwaukee.

 

Business Connections:

Two US-18 Business Connections exist:

  1. BUS US-18 - Mount Horeb. BUS US-18 through Mount Horeb is locally-designated and runs concurrently with the locally-designated BUS US-151 and, in part, with STH-78 and CTH-ID as well.
  2. BUS US-18 - Verona. BUS US-18 through Mount Horeb is locally-designated and runs concurrently with the locally-designated BUS US-151 and CTH-MV as well.

 

Continue on:

US-18 west into Iowa - via Jason Hancock's Iowa Highways website.

 

Photographs:

 

 

Weblinks:

Verona Road/West Beltline Study - WisDOT's project website for the proposed improvements to the US-18/US-151 & US-12/US-14 interchange along the Madison Beltline, including complete information, schedules and maps.

 

 

Verona Road Interchange Proposals - scanned images of the proposed improvements to the US-18/US-151 & US-12/US-14 interchange along the Madison Beltline from David Jensen's "I Love Roads" website.


STH-19

Western Terminus:

Jct US-14 & STH-78 one mile east of Mazomanie

Eastern Terminus:

STH-16 on the east side of Watertown

Length:

59.37 miles

 

Map:

Route Map of STH-19

 

Notes:

Over the years, ideas of a northern bypass of metropolitan Madison—a "North Beltline" to compliment the current highway on the southern and western sides of town—have been discussed. One such idea involves the five miles of STH-19 between STH-113 and I-90/I-94/I-39. This proposed route would follow the STH-19 corridor westerly to STH-113, then southerly to CTH-M and CTH-K, then westerly to US-12. Discussions of a northern Madison beltline highway has already been very controversial and may not end up using part of STH-19, should the highway ever see the light of day.

 

History:

In 1918, STH-19 occupied is present-day routing from Sun Prairie easterly to Watertown, then continued easterly via what later became US-16 (now STH-16) to Waukesha, then easterly via present-day US-18 to end in downtown Milwaukee. On the western end, STH-19 continued southwesterly from Sun Prairie via today's US-151 into Madison, then westerly via present-day US-18 through Dodgeville to end at Prairie du Chien. The coming of the U.S. Highways in the mid-1920s spelled the end of STH-19 west of Madison, where it was replaced by US-18. The highway still entered Madison from Sun Prairie via US-151, however, and remained concurrently designated with US-16 from Watertown into Milwaukee. —Thanks to Jon Enslin for the heads-up!

 

 

In 1947, several major changes were made to the route of STH-19. First, the route was truncated to US-16 at Watertown, removing a rather lengthly concurrency with that highway into Milwaukee. Second, the concurrent portion with US-151 from Sun Prairie into downtown Madison is removed. Third, the route of CTH-K from Sun Prairie through Waunakee to just east of Mazomanie was assumed into the state trunkline system with the STH-19 designation applied to it as an extension of that route. STH-19 has generally followed this same Mazomanie-Watertown route ever since.

 

Freeway/Expwy:

None.

 

NHS:

Along the short concurrent stretch with US-12 at Springfield Corners in Dane Co.

 

Photographs:

 

 

Weblinks:

North Mendota Parkway Avisory Committee - formed to study a broad range of issues relating to potential traffic flow improvements north of Lake Mendota.

 

 

Let's Plan Now for the North Beltline - an article from David Jensen's "I Love Roads" website.


 

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